US diplomat says Afghanistan seeks world pressure on Pakistan

Returning from a UN Security Council visit to Afghanistan, US Ambassador Nikki Haley stressed the Kabul government wants world powers to step up pressure on Pakistan for consensus in talks with the Taliban.

Haley joined 14 other council envoys for talks with top Afghan leaders in Kabul at the weekend as the government considers holding peace talks with the Taliban to end decades of insurgency.
“They feel confident that the Taliban will be coming to the table,” Haley told reporters at UN headquarters.
While the peace talks will be Afghan-led, the Kabul government did request that the Security Council weigh in to bring Pakistan onboard.
“They did ask us for consensus to put further pressure on Pakistan to come to the table and change their behaviour,” Haley said.
The Afghan government is making strides towards stability, she said.
Haley, however, did not specify what measures could be taken to pressure Islamabad.
The Afghan government also requested council help to address narcotics production and trafficking, looking at “every country that moves them,” she said.
The council visit – the first since 2010 – comes as the government holds a conference next month to present its strategy for reaching a settlement with armed groups.
Kazakhstan’s Ambassador Kairat Umarov, who led the council trip, said parliamentary elections must take place this year and be transparent “to ensure the credibility of the government” and “prevent further destabilisation.”


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