The US ambassador in Afghanistan, Ryan C. Crocker, stated on Tuesday that US supports Afghan led peace process and has no intention of dividing Afghanistan. He said that speculations that US has a secret plan on dividing Afghanistan or replacing the current government, are simply false and absurd. He added that US soldiers have laid down their lives, while US taxpayers have given billions of dollars for the cause of unified Afghanistan. Moreover, he stressed on the need for free and independent media in a democratic system to keep the public accurately informed on key issues.
Commenting on the recent visit of Marc Grossman, Crocker informed that he engaged in a comprehensive discussion with Karzai and the leaders of High Peace Council to map the way forward.
Updating on the Qatar talks, ambassador Crocker stated that Karzai has given support for opening Taliban’s office in Qatar and that it is imperative that Afghans talk to Afghans for the success of the peace process. He said meetings in Qatar are underway and there is support for a central government and its efforts to build a strong, stable and secure state.
US special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Marc Grossman, is trying to mitigate tensions between Afghanistan and Qatar to facilitate peace talks with the Taliban. Grossman has stated that Afghanistan and Qatar need to be in direct contact with each other. Tensions between the two mounted when Qatar agreed to open Taliban liaison office, while Afghanistan felt sidelined for not being consulted.
On the other hand, Taliban recently announced that they are opening office in Qatar, however added that holding talks does not mean that they accept Afghan constitution.