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U.S. will stay until Taliban renounce fighting: Tillerson

AT-KABUL: The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday that the United States will not leave Afghanistan until the Taliban accept to get reconciled with the Afghan government.

Speaking in Washington DC, Tillerson said the U.S. remained committed to Afghanistan. “We’re not going anywhere. It is a commitment and a message to the Taliban,” he said.

He said the U.S. will stay as long as it takes for you to change the mindset of the Taliban and have them decide to engage with the Afghan government in a reconciliation process and develop a form of government that does suit the needs of the culture of Afghanistan.

Tillerson pledged that the U.S. government will dismantle terrorist sanctuaries and cut off their financial sources and other chances.

“Our policy, quite simply, on terrorism is that we will deny terrorists the opportunity, the means, the location, the wherewithal, the financing, the ability to organize and carry out attacks against Americans at home and abroad, anywhere in the world,” he said.

Tillerson also said that Pakistan needed to take concrete steps against terrorists. “Pakistan, too, is an important US partner in South Asia. Our relationships in the region stand on their own merits. We expect Pakistan to take decisive action against terrorist groups based within their own borders that threaten their own people and the broader region. In doing so, Pakistan furthers stability and peace for itself and its neighbors, and improves its own international standing,” he added.

Tillerson acknowledge the role of India as a strategic partner of Washington in establishing peace in Afghanistan. “And as we implement President Trump’s new South Asia strategy, we will turn to our partners to ensure greater stability in Afghanistan and throughout the region. India is a partner for peace in Afghanistan and we welcome their assistance efforts,” he stated.

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