Publicado: Mier, Marcha 14, 2018
Global | Por Milagro Delgado

United States defense secretary backs Afghan overtures to Taliban

United States defense secretary backs Afghan overtures to Taliban

Mattis planned to meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and top USA commanders including General John Nicholson, the top US officer in Afghanistan.

Although the Taliban didn't express any immediate interest on the proposal last month, Mattis told reporters he had heard smatterings of interest expressed by some factions in the Taliban.

US President Donald Trump's administration has also piled pressure on Pakistan to crack down on militant safe havens on its side of the Afghan-Pakistan border.

The US stance is it wants Kabul to lead the way for the talks.

Issues related to counter-terrorism operations and support for the security and defense forces were also discussed, he added.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has arrived in Kabul for an unannounced visit to take stock of the war and the prospects of drawing some elements of the Taliban into peace talks with the Afghan government.

"The strategy by the USA towards South Asia and Afghanistan has changed the environment and created opportunity to focus more on the peace process".

"We're ready to restart talks about peace with Pakistan again and forget bitter experiences of the past and start a new chapter", he said, at the start of an worldwide conference in Kabul.

"All wars come to an end", Mattis said.

The secretary's visit comes shortly after the Afghan government said it would be willing to recognize the Taliban as a legitimate political party as part of a ceasefire with the militant group.

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"This is not saying that because the offer's been made it's going to be easy or smooth, but the offer's been made", Mattis told reporters.

The Pentagon chief defined the final goal of the conflict as political reconciliation between the warring parties rather than a military victory.

He said, "Of course it's all working to achieve a reconciliation".

Since President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out "subversion" at VA MORE announced a new strategy for the war in Afghanistan over the summer, the United States has sent thousands more troops there and bulked up its airpower.

Morethan 30,000 people have been displaced in Afghanistan since the beginning of the year due to continued conflict, the U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a report published late Monday.

"Afghan security forces have been stretched thin as fighting escalated after winter ended, " the United Nations said.

Mattis says the uptick in Taliban attacks on civilians show the insurgency can not gain more territory.

Last week, senior US intelligence officials gave Congress a mix forecast for Afghanistan.

Last month President Ghani, hosting an global conference in Kabul, offered the Taliban a ceasefire and political recognition to come to the peace table without preconditions.

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