Tillerson: Taliban won't win battlefield victory but neither would USA

Pakistan in particular can play an important role here, certainly in delivering the Taliban to the negotiating table. Pakistan has suffered acts of terrorism, their citizens have suffered acts of terrorism as — I think as dramatic as any we’ve seen anywhere. And we stand ready to help Pakistan address terrorist organisations inside of their country, but they must — they must adopt a different... Еще approach themselves. Pakistan and the US historically had very good relationships, but over the last few years, there has been a real erosion in the confidence between our two governments. There’s been an erosion in trust because we have witnessed terrorist organisations being given safe haven inside of Pakistan to plan and carry out attacks against US servicemen, US officials, disrupting peace efforts inside of Afghanistan. Pakistan must adopt a different approach, and we are ready to work with them to help them protect themselves against these terrorist organisations, but certainly to begin to end their attacks that are disrupting our efforts at peace. We are going to be conditioning our support for Pakistan and our relationship with them on them delivering results in this area. We want to work with Pakistan in a positive way, but they must change their approach.» US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson brought a clear message to the Taliban, during a press briefing in Washington DC, on Tuesday, where he declared that a «battlefield victory» for either the US and their allies, or the Taliban in Afghanistan, proved an unlikely conclusion to the ongoing conflict. Tillerson's comments come one day after US President Donald Trump outlined his military strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia, to military personnel at Arlington, Virginia. Instead of committing to winning the 17 year conflict in Afghanistan by force alone, Tillerson acknowledged, «At some point we have to come to the negotiating table and find a way to bring this to an end.» The diplomat went on lament an «erosion in trust» between the USA and Pakistan. Alluding to the Afghanistan War, Tillerson attributed this lack of trust to Pakistani aid to terrorist groups. He said, «There’s been an erosion in trust because we have witnessed terrorist organisations being given safe haven inside of Pakistan to plan and carry out attacks against U.S. servicemen, U.S. officials, disrupting peace efforts inside of Afghanistan.» Recognising that, as a nuclear power, Pakistan plays a key role in global geopolitics as well as regional issues, Tillerson commented on China's developing relations with Pakistan, indicating that this was a point of concern for US security, «China has strong interest in Pakistan. Having a stable, secure future Pakistan is in a lot of our interests. They are a nuclear power. We have concerns about their weapons, the security of their weapons.» As a journalist posed a question about the allegation that Russia is also engaging with the Taliban, and has been accused of rearming them, Tillerson said that this is a «violation of international norms». If proven, the Secretary of State said, «We certainly would object to that and call Russia’s attention to that.»


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