- Colorado school drops sexual harassment label on boy who kissed girl’s hand
- Australia court strikes down 5-day-old, gay-marriage law
- Fake interpreter at Mandela service: ‘Sorry,’ I have schizophrenia
- George Zimmerman will not be charged in domestic dispute
- Russian officials press bilateral U.S. trade deal
- Creator of ‘Selfies at Funerals’ blog retires after Obama flub: ‘Our work here is done’
- New Obama adviser Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
- 40 Australian adults, children found in ‘one of the worst accounts of incest ever made public’
- Venezuela’s Maduro calls on student ‘price vigilantes’ to hit the streets, report businesses
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
U.S.: Taliban must renounce terrorist ties
Sets conditions for peace talks
Question of the Day
KABUL, Afghanistan — The Taliban must renounce ties to terrorists and endorse peace efforts as a condition for opening a political office in the Gulf state of Qatar, a senior U.S. diplomat said Sunday.
Marc Grossman, the special U.S. envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, called for quick work in setting up the office in Qatar, seen as a step to negotiating an end to the decade-long war in Afghanistan between the Taliban and the Western-backed government.
The issue underscores the complexity of efforts to wind down the war ahead of the scheduled departure of NATO combat forces by the end of 2014.
Publicly, the Taliban has expressed no interest in reconciliation, and while the U.S. has said repeatedly that the peace process must be led by Afghans, Kabul continues to fear it is being left out of the negotiating process.
Mr. Grossman said Qatar and Afghanistan need to be in direct contact about the office, but “for an office to open, we also need to have a clear statement by the Afghan Taliban against international terrorism and in support of a peace process to end the armed conflict in Afghanistan.”
Reassuring Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who fears he is being sidelined by U.S. efforts to find a political resolution to the war, Mr. Grossman said: “Only Afghans can decide the future of Afghanistan.”
Before making his first visit to Afghanistan, Mr. Grossman made stops in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and India. He wanted to stop in Pakistan as well, but he said Pakistani officials did not want to meet with him now because they were revising their policy toward the U.S.
The relationship is severely strained because of the U.S. raid in Pakistan that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and a U.S. airstrike late last year that killed 24 Pakistan soldiers. Pakistan, where many Afghan insurgent leaders are said to be based, has closed overland routes into Afghanistan for U.S. and NATO war supplies.
Last year, Washington opened secret negotiations with the Taliban to explore its willingness to enter into peace talks ahead of the withdrawal of U.S. troops.
The Taliban is seeking the release of five prisoners from the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, including Khairullah Khairkhwa, the former governor of Herat province, and Mullah Mohammed Fasl, a top Taliban commander.
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- All-out war breaks out in GOP over budget pact
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Inside the Ring: China targets Global Hawk drone
- Obama's antics at Nelson Mandela tribute: Jovial conversation, handshake with Raul Castro
- KIBBE: Another Republican budget surrender
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whisky: U.K.-born expert
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Al Maurer provides a common sense, conservatarian, Constitutional conservative perspective from the battleground state of Colorado
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
Buzz on Bees is a column promoting the love and life of God’s greatest pollinators on earth: The Honeybee
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow