On Wednesday July 7, Ned Price, US State Department spokesman, held a press conference.  He urged Afghanistan’s neighbors to play a constructive role in Afghan peace talks “in order for there to be a just and durable peace” in the country.

“What Iran is trying to do or is in the process of doing by hosting this meeting may well be constructive. I think the jury is still out.  This is obviously not something we have discussed with the Iranians, other than by public--by making the point very publicly that Afghanistan's neighbors need to be responsible stakeholders,” Price said.

“For too long, many of Afghanistan's neighbors have been happy to see the United States engaged and the United States alone engaged. If there is to be a just and durable settlement and a comprehensive ceasefire, it needs to be supported, supported by Afghanistan's neighbors. And we hope to see them act responsibly,” he said.

The US State Department spokesman also said that Afghanistan’s neighbors “need to use their influence in ways that are positive, in ways that are constructive, in ways that promote the cause of peace, in ways that support the people of Afghanistan.”

“We know that regional consensus and support for an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process, it’s important for enduring peace.  When it comes to the recent violence, this is something obviously we have spoken to quite a bit, and the point remains that no government that might come to power in Afghanistan through the use of force, at the barrel of a gun, will have legitimacy or the support, and that can be especially critical, from the international community,” he said.

“Nor would a government that comes to power by force have the support of the people of Afghanistan. And what we ultimately hope to help support and will seek to help support is a just and durable settlement,” he mentioned.

“Every party has an interest in a settlement being durable. The Afghan people have been burdened and, in many cases, brutalized by 40 years of civil war. The United States is supporting the efforts ongoing in Doha right now between the parties, where the parties are in fact still meeting, still talking, to see to it that we can have a just and durable settlement and a comprehensive ceasefire to finally see an end to this violence,” he added.