US says ‘moderate’ Taliban can be part of Afghanistan government

KABUL (TCA) — US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters during an unannounced trip to Afghanistan on October 23 that Washington thinks that moderate elements among the Taliban exist and they can be part of the country’s government, Sputnik news agency reported.

“There are, we believe, moderate voices among the Taliban, voices that do not want to continue to fight forever,” Tillerson said. “So we are looking to engage with those voices and have them engage in a reconciliation process leading to a peace process and their full involvement and participation in the government. There’s a place for them in the government if they’re ready to come renouncing terrorism, renouncing violence and being committed to a stable, prosperous Afghanistan.”

Tillerson pointed out, however, that the fight against the Taliban should continue “in order for them to understand they will never win a military victory.”

In August, US President Trump announced a new Afghanistan strategy in which he pledged to continue US support for the Afghan government and military. As part of the plan, Trump ordered to expand the authority of US troops to target terrorists in Afghanistan and approved sending an additional 4,000 troops to the country.

Afghanistan has long suffered political, social and security-related instability as a result of activities carried out by Daesh and the Taliban.

According to UN Security Council resolutions, the Taliban may sit at the negotiations table if they break off their ties with terrorists, cease their armed struggle and affirm their respect for the Afghan Constitution.

Sergey Kwan

TCA

Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
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Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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