NATO endorses Afghan govt's bid for peace accord with Taliban

Lahore, Oct 12 (ANI): The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has endorsed the Afghan government's attempt to strike a peace accord with the Taliban rebels to end a war, which is now in its tenth year, a news channel has reported.

"I take it for granted that groups and individuals involved in the reconciliation process not only put down their weapons and cut off relations with terrorist groups but also abide by and respect the Afghan constitution, including full respect for human rights," the Daily Times quoted NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, as saying to reporters in Brussels.

"Provided these conditions are fulfilled I think we should give it a try," he added.

Last week, a 68-member peace council was set up to accelerate informal talks under way between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the insurgents trying to drive out the 142,000 US-led foreign troops from Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Richard Holbrooke, US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, has said that the United States welcomes Afghan reconciliation efforts but believes that the recent reports about secret talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government are exaggerated.

"The facts are, as President Karzai stated in a CNN interview to be broadcast tonight, what he said was quite clear there: that they've been in contact with people with the Taliban on a continuing basis," he stated.

"We're not involved in those talks but we support them provided they follow the 'red lines' that are absolutely critical because we have a strategic interest here," he added, revealing the US' stand on the ongoing negotiations. (ANI)

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