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US asks Taliban to lay down arms, begin peace talks

19 January, 2014

WASHINGTON: The United States condemned the deadly Taliban attack on a restaurant in Kabul on Saturday which killed 21 civilians, and asked the Taliban to lay down arms and begin peace talks to end the conflict.

"We send condolences to all the victims of the attack and their families, and pray for a speedy recovery for those injured," White House Press Secretary said in a statement.

"There is no possible justification for this attack, which has killed innocent civilians, including Americans, working every day to help the Afghan people achieve a better future with higher education and economic assistance at the American University, United Nations, International Monetary Fund and other organizations," the statement added.

"We call again on the Taliban to put down their arms and begin peace talks, which is the surest way to end the conflict in a peaceful manner," the statement said.

According to the State Department, victims included Wabel Abdallah, the International Monetary Fund's Resident Representative, personnel from the United Nations, and civilians from around the world, including US citizens, who had come to help build a peaceful, prosperous future for Afghanistan and its people.

"With this despicable, targeted attack on innocent civilians, terrorists continue to demonstrate blatant disregard for life and for the peaceful, prosperous future Afghans want and are working so hard to achieve."

"The United States and our international partners remain steadfast in our commitment to the people of Afghanistan and support their efforts toward peace, reconciliation, and a secure, stable, and prosperous nation," the State Department said in a statement.

End.

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