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Oct 22, 2011

Clinton says U.S. officials have met with Haqqanis

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday that the United States had held a preliminary meeting with representatives of the Haqqani network, a group of militants Washington has blamed for a series of attacks in Afghanistan.

The revelation came soon after Clinton, in Islamabad with a heavyweight team of U.S. military and intelligence leaders, warned that tough action would have to be taken against Afghan and Pakistani militants if they did not cooperate in efforts to stabilize Afghanistan and pursue peace.

Oct 21, 2011

U.S. officials met Haqqani representatives: Clinton

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday that the United States had held a preliminary meeting with representatives of the Haqqani network, a group of militants Washington has blamed for a series of attacks in Afghanistan.

Clinton was in Islamabad to discuss joint efforts against militants, and was asked at a journalist roundtable about reports that U.S. officials had met with Haqqani representatives directly, even as Washington demanded that Pakistan take a tougher line on the group.

Oct 21, 2011

Clinton to talk Afghan supply routes on C.Asia visit

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Tajikistan and Uzbekistan this weekend to bolster ties with two countries lying on an Afghan supply route that could help Washington reduce its dependency on Pakistan as ties sour with its main regional ally.

Clinton will meet Tajik President Imomali Rakhmon on Saturday and move on to Uzbekistan for high-level meetings before heading home on Sunday, the State Department said, as Clinton wrapped up a trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Oct 21, 2011

Clinton warns of tough action if militants don’t cooperate

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned on Friday that stern action would have to be taken against militants if they did not cooperate in efforts to stabilise Afghanistan and pursue peace.

Such efforts would focus on getting the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network, involved, Clinton said in the Pakistani capital.

Oct 21, 2011

Haqqanis, Taliban needed in peace process: Clinton

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday that efforts to stabilize Afghanistan would focus on getting the Taliban and the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network to pursue peace, but warned stern action must be taken if they don’t cooperate.

“Now we have to turn our attention here on the Pakistani Taliban, Afghan Taliban, Haqqani and other terrorist groups and try to get them into a peace process,” Clinton told a news conference during a visit to Pakistan, a nation seen as critical to U.S. efforts to end the conflict in Afghanistan.

Oct 20, 2011

Clinton to send clear message to Pakistan on militants

ISLAMABAD/KABUL (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton landed in Islamabad on Thursday to deliver a tough warning to Pakistan to cut suspected ties with militant groups which have severely strained ties between the uneasy allies.

Clinton, arriving from the Afghan capital, Kabul, left directly for the U.S. embassy and was scheduled to attend a dinner with senior Pakistani officials.

Oct 20, 2011

Clinton heading to Pakistan, to push cooperation

KABUL (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday she was looking for a “reality check” on a visit to Afghanistan, where she also pushed for closer cooperation with neighbouring Pakistan on both the war and economic development.

Clinton will fly on to Islamabad, a U.S. official said, where she will also urge officials to work more closely with counterparts across the border. She presented a new summary of the mission in both countries: “fight, talk, build”.

Oct 20, 2011

Clinton seeks “reality check”on Afghan visit

KABUL (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday she was looking for a “reality check” on her visit to Afghanistan, but said she had seen progress, and remained hopeful about the prospects for a peaceful and stable future. “I’m here to have a reality check,” Clinton said at a meeting at the U.S. embassy in Kabul with a group of Afghan activists from women’s groups, political parties and media organisations.

“The changes that I have seen in Afghanistan are very encouraging but they must be made permanent and that can only happen if there is a consensus within the country about what kind of future you are seeking.” Clinton’s arrival on Wednesday on an unannounced visit to Kabul followed several high-profile attacks in the Afghan capital, including an assault on the U.S. embassy in September and days later the assassination of President Hamid Karzai’s top peace envoy, former President Burhanuddin Rabbani. The visit comes at a time of strains in relationships between Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States, complicating the outlook as the Obama administration pushes ahead with plans to draw down troops and turn over security responsibility to Afghan forces by the end of 2014. Efforts to reach a political solution to a conflict now more than a decade old will be on Clinton’s agenda, along with support for Afghans as they step up their own security work.

Oct 19, 2011

Clinton in Afghanistan to discuss peace moves

KABUL (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will discuss possible peace talks and Afghanistan’s tricky ties with Pakistan when she meets Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other key leaders in Kabul on Thursday, U.S. officials said.

Clinton’s arrival on Wednesday on an unannounced visit to Afghanistan follows several high profile attacks in the Afghan capital, including an assault on the U.S. embassy in September and days later the assassination of Karzai’s top peace envoy, former President Burhanuddin Rabbani.

Oct 19, 2011

Clinton arrives in Kabul, show of commitment

KABUL (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will discuss possible peace talks and the handover of security to Afghan forces when she meets Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other key leaders in Kabul on Thursday.

Her arrival on Wednesday follows several high profile attacks in the Afghan capital, including an assault on the U.S. embassy in September and days later the assassination of Karzai’s top peace envoy, former President Burhanuddin Rabbani.