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No timeline to US’s Afghan commitment: Envoy

No timeline to US’s Afghan commitment: Envoy

Oct 26, 2017 - 17:08

KABUL (Pajhwok): US envoy in Kabul Ambassador Hug Llorens has said there is no pre-determined timeline governing the US commitment to Afghanistan. 

In his remarks about on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s travel to the region, the Special Chargé d’Affaires said Tillerson after his discussion with President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah said, “We are here to stay until we can secure a process of reconciliation and peace.”

Tillerson traveled for the first time to South Asia to reaffirm and hold in-depth discussions on the US South Asia strategy with senior officials.

Llorens said the secretary believed that it was important to meet with leaders in Afghanistan at the beginning of the trip. 

In his Oct 23 meeting with President Ghani and CEO Abdullah at Bagram Airfield, Tillerson made clear that the United States was firmly committed to working with the government and people of Afghanistan to create conditions for a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Afghanistan free from terrorists, insurgents and the extremists who directly threatened the security of Afghanistan, the United States, and partners in the entire world.

“This beautiful land, full of tremendous hope and promise, matters not just to the region, but also to the entire world.”

Tillerson also pointed out that terrorists operating out of Pakistan were growing in strength and capability and represented a direct threat to Afghanistan, all of the nations in the region, and Pakistan itself. 

He said it was their ultimate aim to support peace between the National Unity government and those Taliban willing to reconcile. 

“Such a peace settlement would be vital to the region’s long-term stability.  In fact, Secretary Tillerson expressed interest in the Taliban bringing moderate voices to discuss peace and reconciliation with the Afghan government.”

At the same time, he was unhesitant in his statement that those unwilling to come to the peace table and continue committing terrorist acts will be dealt with harshly. 

Tillerson and Ghani agreed that regional collaboration was critical to achieving a peaceful, stable, and prosperous future for Afghanistan.

President Ghani assured Secretary Tillerson that his government was firmly committed to implementing reforms under the Afghanistan-US Compact, including holding credible and inclusive parliamentary elections in 2018 and presidential elections in 2019.

“The United States and our partners will stand by the Afghan people in the fight against our enemies until the job gets done.  We will also continue to build on the incredible progress Afghanistan has achieved in the last 16 years. I am confident that together, we can achieve a peaceful and sustainable future for Afghanistan and its people.”