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Direct Afghan govt, Taliban talks a welcome step: White House

The direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Pakistan is a welcome step, the White House said Tuesday.

“The United States welcomes talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban. This is an important step in advancing prospects for a credible peace,” the White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, told reporters at his daily news conference.

The United States, he said commends the government of Afghanistan’s prioritization of peace and reconciliation efforts with the Taliban. “We both acknowledge and appreciate Pakistan’s important efforts to host these conversations,” he said.

Earnest was responding to questions about reports of direct talks between Kabul and the Taliban in Pakistan.

The United States, he said, has been encouraging the Afghans to participate in an Afghan-led process that would bring about a political reconciliation in Afghanistan and a de-escalation, if not an end, to the violence that has wracked that country for more than a decade now.

“That’s a process that we’re going to continue to be supportive of, but ultimately it’s a process that must be led by the Afghan people and the Afghan government, of course,” Earnest said. (PAN)

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