US supports peace talks with Taliban, led by Afghan govt:Obama

US supports peace talks with Taliban, led by Afghan govt:Obama

"We do know that peace cannot come to a land that has known so much war without a political settlement. So as we strengthen the Afghan government and security forces, America will join initiatives that reconcile the Afghan people, including the Taliban," Obama said in his nationally televised speech from the White House late last night.

At the same time, he insisted that there was no change in the red line for peace talks with the Taliban.

"Our position on these talks is clear: they must be led by the Afghan government, and those who want to be a part of a peaceful Afghanistan must break from al-Qaeda, abandon violence, and abide by the Afghan constitution.

"But, in part because of our military effort, we have reason to believe that progress can be made. The goal that we seek is achievable, and can be expressed simply: no safe-haven from which al Qaeda or its affiliates can launch attacks against our homeland, or our allies," Obama said.

The President said America will not try to make Afghanistan a "perfect place".

"We will not police its streets or patrol its mountains indefinitely. That is the responsibility of the Afghan government, which must step up its ability to protect its people; and move from an economy shaped by war to one that can sustain a lasting peace," he said.

"What we can do, and will do, is build a partnership with the Afghan people that endures – one that ensures that we will be able to continue targeting terrorists and supporting a sovereign Afghan government."

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