John Kerry says Afghanistan still facing problems
Washington, Jan 6: Afghanistan continues to face challenges today even as the unity government in the war-torn country has kept alive the chances of future progress, US Secretary of State John Kerry has said.
"We played a pivotal role in forging a national unity government in Afghanistan that, while still facing challenges, has kept alive the chance for future progress," he said at his final press conference as the Secretary of State on Thursday.
Kerry had played an instrumental role in the formation of the unity government led by President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Dr Abdullah Abdullah.
"We all know how difficult that could have been when an election had serious problems, and the country was poised to perhaps see the government fall apart and maybe even enter into civil war and yet we helped broker and pull together the parties into a unity government that still today is managing to move forward in Afghanistan," Kerry said.
When Obama came to power in 2009, there were more than 100,000 troops in this war-torn country, which has now reduced to less than 10,000. Afghanistan now has a well-trained armed force which has been successfully meeting the challenge posed by the Taliban and other terrorist groups, he said.
Despite best efforts, the Obama administration has not been able solve all the global problems, Kerry acknowledged.
"Obviously we have not solved every problem. The Israeli- Palestinian conflict continues, but we are absolutely right to support a two-state solution and to warn about the danger of actions on any side that could obstruct that possibility. We are also right to insist that a diplomatic path is the only way out of the disastrous situation in Syria, one of the most intractable and complex conflicts in modern history and the worst humanitarian catastrophe since World War II," the top American diplomat said.
Kerry said that despite the US' best efforts to mobilise a unified response from the international community, and to ease tensions and reduce violence and save lives, obviously war has continued at considerable human cost.
"It is only through a political solution that ultimately the country can be unified, the country can be rebuilt, and the violence can actually be stopped. It is only through a political solution that actual peace can finally come to Syria," he said.
The military strategies that are pursued by the regime and its backers in Moscow and Tehran, if that's all there is, will only lengthen the war and generate more extremists and further inflame sectarian fighting, Kerry warned. "That is why the US continues to support diplomatic efforts to achieve and effective cessation of hostilities and to transition to a government capable of uniting the Syrian people," he added.