US holds talks with officials on “Afghan-led” peace process

The US is in “close consultation” with the Afghan government to work out a peace process which Washington insists will be “Afghan-led,” an official said on Wednesday.

The US is currently “exploring all avenues to advance a peace process in close consultation with the Afghan government,” said State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert.

“Any peace and reconciliation talks have to be Afghan-led, (and) Afghan-owned. We stand by that position and that is something that we’ve not backed away from,” she told reporters.

On Monday, NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan refuted reports that that its commander said the US is ready to join direct negotiations with the Taliban.
Resolute Support commander John Nicholson said in a statement that the US “is not a substitute for the Afghan people or the Afghan government”.