Britain Prepared to Cooperate in Taliban Peace Talks
KABUL – Afghanistan needed sincere cooperation from its neighbors in eradicating terrorism from the country and the region at large, Britain's special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan said on Wednesday.
The ongoing reconciliation campaign of the Afghan government was important for neighboring countries as well, Mark Sedwill said after a flurry of meetings with Pakistani and Afghan officials, including President Hamid Karzai.
At a news conference in Kabul, the British diplomat said he had urged his interlocutors in both countries to work jointly for combating terrorism. "The United Kingdom is supporting the Afghan-led peace process, financially and politically," he said, asking Kabul and Islamabad to collaborate at implementing the "important" project.
Pakistan was under pressure to eliminate militant hideouts on its soil, because such sanctuaries posed a serious threat to the region, as well as the Western world, Sedwill said. Assuaging security concerns after the withdrawal of foreign troops, the envoy said: "Before one international soldier leaves, two Afghans are trained, boosting the strength of their national security forces."
For the peace drive to succeed, the ambassador asked the Taliban to shun the insurgency; otherwise Afghan and international forces would kill or capture them.
While pledging long-term cooperation with Afghanistan, Sedwill told the Karzai administration to step up its campaign against administrative corruption and expand its control in Taliban-dominated areas.