WASHINGTON: The United States is still hoping to get peace talks with the Taliban and Afghan officials "back on track," a US State Department spokesperson said on Monday.
There have been some hopeful signs for the talks, Department spokesperson Patrick Ventrell told reporters, adding that "we want to see if we can get it back on track."
"We don't know whether that's possible."
Still, a new date for discussions has not yet been set and US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, James Dobbins, has not met with Taliban representatives, Ventrell added.
Dobbins to visit Pakistan
US Special Representative Ambassador James Dobbins will travel to Islamabad to discuss bilateral cooperation with government leaders, the State Department said Monday while reiterating its appreciation for Pakistan's support on Afghan reconciliation.
Ambassador Dobbins, who is special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, met with Afghan officials on Monday and would also be traveling to New Delhi as part of his regional visit.
Dobbins is tasked with leading US talks with the Afghan Taliban, who last week opened their political office in Doha.
The goal is to encourage Afghans to talk to each other directly, and the US is open to playing a role in those discussions if the Afghan High Council wants so, a spokesperson at the State Department said.
Washington, the spokesperson said, has been appreciative of Pakistan's interest and support for reconciliation. "We continue to discuss that," Patrick Ventrell, Director Press Office told journalists at the State Department daily briefing.
US condemns attacks on mountaineers
The spokesperson strongly condemned the killing of international mountaineers in the north of Pakistan and said the US is working with Pakistan to gather more information regarding the terrorist incident, in which an American was also killed.
"The United States strongly condemns the attack on tourists in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Our condolences go out to the loved ones affected by this senseless violence. We can confirm that an American citizen was killed in the terrorist attack. The FBI is working with Pakistani authorities to gather more incident regarding this incident."
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