US urges ‘decisive’ steps by Pakistan for Afghan peace

July 5, 2018 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is calling for “sustained and decisive steps” by Pakistan to bring Taliban leaders to the negotiating table with the Afghan government.

The militant group has resumed attacks after respecting a brief cease-fire last month.

The top diplomat for South Asia, Alice Wells, has just returned from talks with leaders in both countries. She met Pakistan’s powerful army chief Tuesday. She welcomed positive steps by Pakistan and Afghanistan to improve ties, but said Pakistan needs to take political initiatives to help drive an Afghan peace process.

She urged Pakistan to expel Taliban leaders and press them to negotiate with Kabul.

Wells spoke to reporters in Washington Thursday.

The Trump administration suspended security assistance to Pakistan in January over its failure to crackdown on Afghan Taliban on its soil.