Published On: Mon, Jul 30th, 2012

No ‘Grand Bargain’ with Taliban in Afghanistan: Crocker

Mr Crocker stressed that the most important talks would be between the Afghan government and the Taliban, rather than the Taliban and the US.

KABUL – Defeating the Taliban and insurgents will be a gradual process and a “grand bargain” bringing the conflict to a swift end is unlikely, the outgoing US ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, told CBS news on Friday.

Mr Crocker stressed that the most important talks would be between the Afghan government and the Taliban, rather than the Taliban and the US.

He added that some US troops will stay in Afghanistan after 2014 but he did not go into details about their role because Afghanistan and the US are working on a draft Afghan-US security agreement.

“I couldn’t begin to tell you exactly what that scenario would look like,” Mr Crocker said.

US president Barack Obama on Friday met with Mr Crocker at the White House and praised him for his efforts in Afghanistan. The diplomat is due to leave his post at the end of the summer.

“Ambassador Crocker has served at a critical time, and thanks to his work, the United States – together with the Afghan government, and our NATO-ISAF partners – has cemented a long-term partnership with the Afghan people that allows us to responsibly wind down the war as the Afghan Government stands up to take full responsibility for their security and sovereignty,” the White House said in a statement.

Mr Crocker posted a statement of his own on the website of the US Embassy in Afghanistan, reflecting on his time in the country.

“Afghanistan still faces great challenges in security, in economic development, in the building of institutions,” the statement said. “But no one, Afghan or foreign, should lose sight of the extraordinary achievements that you have brought about.”
Mr Crocker has been in his post for a year.

Source: Tolo News

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