No one in Afghanistan has interest in the country falling back into civil war, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has said.
“I don’t think anyone in Afghanistan, whether it’s the Taliban, whether it’s the government, and certainly not the people, have an interest in that country falling back into civil war,” Blinken said in an interview with NBC News.
“They’ve been in conflict for 40 years. If the Taliban, for example, wants recognition, if they want international support, if they are part of some kind of new government going forward in Afghanistan, that can’t happen; that support won’t be there,” Blinken said.
He said that President Biden is committed to ending the war in Afghanistan and to withdraw American troops from the country and “to make sure as we do that to the best of our ability that Afghanistan never again becomes a haven for terrorism and particularly for terrorism that targets the United States.”
He said that any peace that is going to be lasting and that is going to be just has to be Afghan-led.
“We’ll see how the parties calculate their interests. I think other countries also have to step up and help move Afghanistan in a positive direction,” Blinken said.
US troops are scheduled to fully withdraw from Afghanistan by May 1 under Washington’s deal with the Taliban.
However, no major progress has been made in intra-Afghan peace talks and violence level remains high.
US has proposed convening a peace conference in Turkey with the hope it will finalize a peace agreement. Theconference is expected to be held this month.