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The top US diplomat hours after his return from Islamabad confirmed that the new civilian government in Pakistan is committed to cooperate honestly with the Afghan government. However, Mr. Dobbins stated that the Taliban is still unwilling to join the peace process.  Following his meetings with the Pakistani stakeholders, James Dobbins arrived in Kabul and attended the press conference. At the conference, he urged Afghanistan to sign the BSA before campaigning begins for the upcoming Presidential vote.  "On the BSA, we are hopeful that this could be concluded soon. We have not had any formal talks on it, but, informal discussions have continued. There are few issues left but we think these issues can be settled relatively quickly and so we continue to be hopeful that this will be concluded in the next month or two," said Mr. Dobbins.  "We think that you are going to have an important election campaign here, beginning really in October/November, when the candidates register and you begin to have a real competition. We think the upcoming election next April is the most important event. It is going to shape Afghanistan's future. We think that if the election goes well and if it produces a result that is widely accepted in the country, most other of Afghanistan's difficulties, problems and challenges are going to be satisfactorily met. Election is the most important item on your agenda and even on our agenda," added Mr. Dobbins.  Although, Mr. Dobbins avoided predicting the time it will take to restart the peace process with the Taliban, he confirmed that the Taliban are still not ready to resume the talks as their office in Qatar was shutdown.  "On reconciliation and the Doha office, again I cannot predict the future, much depends on whether the Taliban is ready to sit down and begin discussions with the US and with the High Peace Council (HPC) on the conditions that were set by the government of Qatar for the opening of their office there. They have not been willing to do so for the last few weeks. But we have not given up and we will continue to pursue that," responded Mr. Dobbins.  Meanwhile, Mr. Dobbins said that the US will speak to President Karzai and share the outcomes of the meetings with Pakistani officials.  "Results of our discussions in Pakistan, I think one message is that the new government remains quite interested in the relations with Afghanistan. It is committed to improving those relations and is looking forward to a visit by President Karzai in the near future," Mr. Dobbins further stated.  The comments from Mr. Dobbins came in after John Kerry, the US Secretary of State had expressed his confidence on inking the BSA.  It is being speculated that both parties have already agreed on some controversial articles of the BSA. Prior to this, the US had set a two-month deadline for signing the security agreement Political commentators believe that the US by pushing the Afghan government to sign the agreement before the election campaigns, is an effort to save the agreement from being used as a tool to campaign in the elections.  On Friday, James Dobbins held discussions with the Afghan President on a number of key issues concerning the two countries. Mr. Dobbins briefed Karzai about the conversations he had with the US Secretary of State and the Pakistani officials.  At the meeting, while stressing on the expectations of his citizens from the upcoming tour to Pakistan, President Karzai warned that if the trip yields no positive outcome, it would have serious repercussion on the relations of the two countries.


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