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US 'still committed to Afghan reconciliation process' despite Taliban talks suspension

March 16, 2012 - Washington

The United States has said that it remains committed to Afghan reconciliation, despite Taliban's announcement of suspending talks with America.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Taliban said they had agreed to talks focusing on a political office being established in Qatar and on a prisoner exchange.

But they said they were suspending participation because of "the shaky, erratic and vague standpoint of the Americans".

White House spokesman Jay Carney, however, denied the accusation.

He said the US conditions for participation in the process had been "clear in terms of the reconciliation".

"There is no likely resolution to the conflict in Afghanistan without a political resolution," The BBC quoted Carney, as saying.

"Those who would be reconciled need to lay down their arms, renounce al-Qaeda (and) promise to abide by the Afghan constitution. And we continue to support that process," he added.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan President Karzai called on NATO troops to leave Afghan villages.

According to the report, he said in a statement said that as a result of the killing of 16 villagers by a US soldier on Sunday, international forces had to withdraw from rural outposts and return to larger bases.


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