Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, December 16th, 2017

Ghani, Abdullah Remain Committed to Unity Govt: US

Ghani, Abdullah Remain Committed to Unity Govt: US

WASHINGTON - President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Dr Abdullah are committed to the unity government and are making it work, the White House has said.
During his recent visit to the US, Abdullah met top US officials including Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Minister James Mattis and National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H R McMaster.
“Those meetings went well,” a senior Obama administration official told Pajhwok Afghan News. Abdullah was able to explain some of the positive things happening in Afghanistan.
On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York in September, President Donald Trump met his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani.
Both Ghani and Abdullah remained committed to the national unity government. They are “committed to making it work,” the official said.
There had been some strains in their relationship in the last few years, the official said, noting the unity government had remained intact. “Both leaders are committed to making it work.”
Responding to a question, the official said the US was open to discussions with the Afghan Taliban. “We never closed it. We just simply assessed that the Taliban still believe they can win on the battlefield.
“Until the Taliban leaders understand that their only way forward is at the negotiating table, there is not going to be productive, genuine talks. But that doesn't mean that we've closed the door,” he said.
The Trump administration is constantly talking to the Afghan government on the issue and making sure they are were the same page in terms of what negotiations would look like.
“First, you have to achieve Taliban-Afghan government talks. Two, you need regional support for a peace process. This means you have to be building consensus among regional partners and the other major partners who have an interest in Afghanistan,” the official added.
“It means you need better relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan. You need Afghan and Pakistan governments talking to each other. And it means you need a consensus within Afghanistan,” the official continued.
Referring to bloodshed in the country, he acknowledged the peace process was not going to be easy. “You're going to have differences of opinion on what that is like…..
“So one of the goals of the high peace council is to start building that true consensus within Afghanistan for it,” the official said in response to a question. (Pajhwok)