US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday signalled the United States remains open to exploring a peace deal including the Haqqani network, the group that US officials blame for a campaign of high-profile violence that could jeopardize Washington’s plans for withdrawing smoothly from Afghanistan.
“Where we are right now is that we view the Haqqanis and other of their ilk as, you know, being adversaries and being very dangerous to Americans, Afghans and coalition members inside Afghanistan, but we are not shutting the door on trying to determine whether there is some path forward,” Clinton said when asked whether she believed members of the Haqqani network might reconcile with the Afghan government.
“It’s too soon to tell whether any of these groups or any individuals within them are serious,” she said in an interview with Reuters.
Inclusion of the Haqqani network in a hoped-for peace deal, now a chief objective in the Obama administration’sAfghanistanpolicy after a decade of war, is a controversial idea in Washington.
Officials blame the group for the September 2011 attack on theUSembassy inKabuland a truck bombing that injured many US soldiers.
The State Department is facing heat from Capitol Hill for refraining, at least so far, from officially designating the Haqqani group.