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Pak 'not sidelined' on Taliban peace talks: US

Washington, Sat, 28 Jan 2012 ANI

Washington, Jan 28 (ANI): The United States has said it is not sidelining Pakistan from peace talks with the Taliban, insisting that the South Asian country has an important role to play in the Afghan reconciliation process.


"Absolutely untrue," the US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said when asked about the impression in Pakistan that they are being sidelined in contacts with the Taliban.


Formal talks are scheduled to take place in Qatar, where the militant group is settling up an office.


"We have at every opportunity been clear that we think that Pakistan has a very important role to play in supporting this reconciliation process. The secretary (Hillary Clinton) talked about it quite extensively when she was there. As you know, Pakistan was part of the Istanbul process, part of the Bonn process, supporting this reconciliation effort. As we've said a number of times, Ambassador Grossman was ready to go to Pakistan on this trip," The Nation quoted Nuland, as saying.


"Pakistani government, very much involved in an internal review of its relations with the United States, thought that this trip was not the best time, but they welcome him at a future time. So we very much want Pakistan to be part of this, as do the Afghans," she added.


The spokesperson also said the 'message that came to us from the Pakistani government was we want to be involved in this, but right now is not the moment'. (ANI)


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