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Afghanistan

White House Backs Hoped For Peace Talks

White House officials said the United States will support the Afghan government and insurgent groups who are ready to join the peace process.

One national security council official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Washington Times: "The United States will support the Afghan government and all parties ready to make peace."

"Our Afghan allies believe that a workable peace process that ends decades of war must include all elements of the Taliban, including the Haqqani Network, willing to accept peace. This war in Afghanistan must be settled among Afghans," the official said on Sunday.

 This comes just days after Afghanistan’s National Security Advisor to the president Mohammad Hanif Atmar told the Washington Times government should negotiate with anyone who is reconcilable, including Haqqani network.

"We should negotiate with anyone who is reconcilable," including elements of the Haqqani Network, Atmar, told The Times on Thursday at the Afghan Embassy in Washington.

"We will not talk with anyone who is not reconcilable," he said.

This comes after President Ashraf Ghani’s peace offer to the Taliban and other insurgent groups made at the Kabul Process meeting at the end of January.

However,  the Taliban has still not responded to the offer.

Calls meanwhile for the group to join the peace process have been growing – from within Afghanistan and the international community.

On Sunday, Pierre Mayaudon, the European Union (EU) Head of Delegation to Afghanistan called on the Taliban to take advantage of the peace opportunity and enter into dialogue with the Afghan government.

His call came on the eve of the Uzbekistan-Afghanistan peace meeting in Tashkent.

The first such move by Tashkent since 1999, the two-day meeting will bring together regional leaders and representatives from the wider international community where they will discuss the current situation in Afghanistan and the broader fight against terrorism.

High-ranking officials are expected to attend the Tashkent meeting including UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres and the UN Special Envoy to Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, as well as the foreign ministers of China, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Turkey, India, Iran, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, uzdaily.com reported.

Afghanistan

White House Backs Hoped For Peace Talks

White House national security officials are backing an Afghan-led bid to pursue peace talks with the Haqqani Network, alongside the Taliban.

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White House officials said the United States will support the Afghan government and insurgent groups who are ready to join the peace process.

One national security council official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Washington Times: "The United States will support the Afghan government and all parties ready to make peace."

"Our Afghan allies believe that a workable peace process that ends decades of war must include all elements of the Taliban, including the Haqqani Network, willing to accept peace. This war in Afghanistan must be settled among Afghans," the official said on Sunday.

 This comes just days after Afghanistan’s National Security Advisor to the president Mohammad Hanif Atmar told the Washington Times government should negotiate with anyone who is reconcilable, including Haqqani network.

"We should negotiate with anyone who is reconcilable," including elements of the Haqqani Network, Atmar, told The Times on Thursday at the Afghan Embassy in Washington.

"We will not talk with anyone who is not reconcilable," he said.

This comes after President Ashraf Ghani’s peace offer to the Taliban and other insurgent groups made at the Kabul Process meeting at the end of January.

However,  the Taliban has still not responded to the offer.

Calls meanwhile for the group to join the peace process have been growing – from within Afghanistan and the international community.

On Sunday, Pierre Mayaudon, the European Union (EU) Head of Delegation to Afghanistan called on the Taliban to take advantage of the peace opportunity and enter into dialogue with the Afghan government.

His call came on the eve of the Uzbekistan-Afghanistan peace meeting in Tashkent.

The first such move by Tashkent since 1999, the two-day meeting will bring together regional leaders and representatives from the wider international community where they will discuss the current situation in Afghanistan and the broader fight against terrorism.

High-ranking officials are expected to attend the Tashkent meeting including UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres and the UN Special Envoy to Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, as well as the foreign ministers of China, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Turkey, India, Iran, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, uzdaily.com reported.

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