US vows to do 'whatever it takes' to support 'complex' Afghan reconciliation efforts

Brussels, Oct 15 (ANI): The United States will do "whatever it takes" to support Afghan government's reconciliation efforts with elements of the Taliban, but acknowledges that it is a complex effort which may not work, top US officials have said.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made these comments at a news conference in Brussels, the Daily Times reported.

"We have always acknowledged that reconciliation has to be part of the solution in Afghanistan and we will do whatever we can to support this process," Gates said.

Clinton called the reconciliation efforts a "complex effort that is just beginning".

Earlier this month, Richard Holbrooke, US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, had also said that the US welcomed Afghan reconciliation efforts but believed that the recent reports about secret talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government were exaggerated.

"The facts are, as President (Hamid) 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.

Meanwhile, The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has also 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. (ANI)

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