Pakistani minister: US supports dialogue with Taliban

The United States has backed an initiative from tribal leaders to establish a dialogue with the Taliban, Pakistan's Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao said Thursday after talks with visiting US Assistant Secretary for State Richard Boucher.

Pakistani minister: US supports dialogue with Taliban
The United States has backed an initiative from tribal leaders to establish a dialogue with the Taliban, Pakistan's Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao said Thursday after talks with visiting US Assistant Secretary for State Richard Boucher.

"The US administration has expressed its full support for the decisions taken by the Pakistani-Afghan joint peace jirga held last week in Kabul, including the strategy that "those Taliban who are moderate" should be included in Afghanistan's mainstream politics," Sherpao said.

The almost 700 jirga, or tribal council, delegates resolved at the end of the four-day meeting to form a smaller body of 25 prominent members from both sides to "expedite the ongoing process of dialogue for peace and reconciliation with the opposition," meaning the Taliban.

Boucher was due to give a press conference later Thursday to conclude his two-day visit to Islamabad. The official discussed the conflict in Afghanistan and the political situation in Pakistan with members of the government and President General Pervez Musharraf, who is a key US ally.

The visit came amid strains in bilateral relations, mainly due to new US legislation that links military aid to Pakistan with its counter-terrorism performance, and calls in the United States for unilateral strikes against Taliban and al-Qaeda targets in Pakistan.

DPA
Last Mod: 16 Ağustos 2007, 15:05
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