U.S State Department spokesman John Kirby on Tuesday welcomed the recent talks between Russia, China and Pakistan on Afghanistan but said they continue to support an Afghan-led reconciliation process.
“We still believe that’s the right way to go here going forward. That that hasn't changed. And our support for President (Ashraf) Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah remains steadfast,” he said.
“But nation-states and Afghanistan as a nation-state has every right and every responsibility, quite frankly, for the betterment of their own people to have, whether it's multilateral or bilateral, discussions with neighboring nations and nations that aren't neighboring that are interested in the same goals that we are,” he added.
Kirby said however that because the U.S was not part of the talks, he could not speak on the specifics of the meeting.
“But to the degree that countries are meeting to discuss the same secure, safe, prosperous Afghanistan that we all want to see and they can come up with ideas to pursue that, in keeping with mandates from the international community and in particular NATO, those can be - they could be constructive.”
When asked to comment on Afghanistan’s move to have Hizb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s name removed from the UN sactions list, Kirby said: “Sanctions committee consultations are confidential and we don't talk about them, so I have nothing to provide you on that.”
Russia, Pakistan and China last month held trilateral talks on Afghanistan. However, they did not include Afghanistan in the talks.