Britain says it is in contact with Taliban

By REUTERS
June 23, 2011 10:52

LONDON - Britain is contact with Taliban insurgents to help pave the way to peace in Afghanistan, Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Thursday. "Contacts do take place with the Taliban. I think it is fair for us to say officially that contacts do take place," Hague told BBC radio.

"Britain, let me put it this way, is connected to that and supportive of that, clearly we have been at the forefront of arguing for reconciliation in Afghanistan." He said he could not give further details about the contacts.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai publicly confirmed on Saturday that the United States was in contact with the Islamist militant Taliban but said talks had not yet reached a stage where the Afghan government and insurgents were meeting.

Britain, which has committed about 9,500 troops to the Afghan campaign, has long argued that only a political settlement could end almost a decade of fighting in Afghanistan.


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