Washington: US State Department confirmed that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Thursday on the sidelines of the 2012 London Somalia Conference.
Speaking to reporters at the daily press briefing, spokesperson Mark Toner said that both the leaders had many things to discuss. He said that both the sides aiming to restore bilateral relations and move productively forward.
Answering a question about Afghan officials meeting with members of the Taliban in Quetta, Toner said that he did not have any information about these meetings.
When asked if President Karzai was taking an active role in response to being reportedly bypassed on earlier reconciliation talks between the Taliban and the US, Toner denied it and said that the meetings between US Special Representative for Af-Pak Marc Grossman and Afghan President Hamid Karzai were an indication that the US was consulting with him.
He added that President Karzai was supportive of the process, and said that at some point the US would like to step away and “have it be an Afghan-to-Afghan reconciliation process.”
When asked about Secretary Clinton’s earlier statements about Pakistan taking action against certain groups present in Pakistan, he said that the US had redlines for those Taliban who would participate in any reconciliation process. “And so the groups that we’re talking about, that the Secretary raised her concerns about operating in Pakistan, are very clearly not part of this process and not interested”. They’re carrying out violent attacks against Afghans and also international entities in Afghanistan.”