Tags: kerry | afghanistan | visit

Kerry Makes Unannounced Visit to Afghanistan

Image: Kerry Makes Unannounced Visit to Afghanistan

Monday, 25 Mar 2013 07:53 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry paid an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Monday for talks with President Hamid Karzai, a U.S. official said, with both sides hoping to stabilise the country before most U.S.-led NATO combat troops leave by the end of 2014.

Kerry and Karzai will discuss a host of issues including Afghan reconciliation, the transfer of security responsibility to Afghan forces and Afghanistan's elections, the U.S. official told reporters.

Karzai's government is trying to open formal negotiations with the Taliban, who have remained resilient in the face of superior NATO firepower in the war now in its 12th year.

Karzai is due to travel to Qatar within days to discuss the peace process and the opening of a Taliban office for the purposes of conducting negotiations.

The trip would be the first time the Afghan president has discussed the Taliban peace process in Qatar, and comes after years of stalled discussions with the United States, Pakistan and the Taliban.

Commenting on Karzai's trip, the U.S. official told reporters: "I wouldn't want to overplay it but I think that it's a very positive sign. It's another step on a continued path toward ... getting to some sort of reconciliation process.

"Nobody is expecting that he will open an office there in a week. Nobody is expecting that he will be sitting down with Taliban in a week. This is a long process and this is one more small but positive step in that ... process."

Tensions between the United States and Afghanistan have deepened in recent years over a range of issues, including civilian casualties during air strikes, night raids and the transfer of prisoners.

The official acknowledged the difficulties in the U.S.-Afghan relationship but said he believed they had resolved a number of them, including an agreement to remove U.S. forces from part of Wardak province where they were accused of mistreating local residents.

He also said the United States believed that the two nations had moved beyond an incident in which Karzai recently accused Washington of colluding with the Taliban to keep foreign forces in Afghanistan, marring U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's first trip to Pakistan since taking on his new post.

The official said Kerry had wanted to visit Pakistan on this trip but had decided not to given the May 11 election, in part to avoid any appearance of seeking to influence what would be Pakistan's first civilian to civilian electoral handover.

The military has ruled Pakistan for more than half of its 66-year history, either through coups or from behind the scenes.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Ralph Peters: 'Psychological Problem' Makes Obama Indecisive

Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 22:57 PM

President Barack Obama isn't making decisions on major world events because he isn't capable of doing so, retired Lt. Co . . .

Republicans Call For Swift Action Against ISIS

Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 21:28 PM

Republican lawmakers sounded a clarion call for quick, decisive action against Islamic State (ISIS) militants after the  . . .

ISIS Apologizes - for Releasing Beheading Video too Soon

Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 22:40 PM

Islamic State (ISIS) militants apologized after releasing a gruesome video that purports to show the beheading of Americ . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved