US Urges Greater Pakistani Role in Afghan Peace Process

Posted August 2nd, 2011 at 4:45 pm (UTC-5)
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The United States has urged Pakistan to play a greater role in reconciliation efforts in neighboring Afghanistan, as foreign troops have begun the process of withdrawing from there after nearly 10 years of war.

That call came during a fourth round of high-level talks in Islamabad attended by diplomats from Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States.

Tuesday's meeting included discussion of a wide range of issues, but the talks focused mainly on Afghan reconciliation with elements of the Taliban.

Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin said he came to Islamabad with a message of urgency, but also with a message of cooperation that is “result oriented.” He said that although the aim of bringing mid- and low-level Taliban commanders into the peace process has been effective, the top leadership is not yet part of that process.

U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman, who led the U.S. delegation, said it is important that Pakistan supports the peace process. He stressed, however, that all of Afghanistan's neighbors must play a part in supporting not only Afghan-led reconciliation, but the region's economic vision as well.

The American delegation also included U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter and the newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker.

The participants agreed that another round of talks should be held soon. They also outlined a series of wider talks aimed at bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan.