Kissinger: US cannot keep unilateral role in Afghanistan

September 11, 2010 09:04

GENEVA — Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said Afghanistan's neighbors need to be engaged in order to find a long-term solution to the conflict there.

Pakistan, Iran, China and India all have an interest in preventing a Taliban victory and al-Qaeda from establishing itself in Afghanistan, Kissinger told an international security conference in Geneva on Friday.

"The presence of a terrorist, drug-producing state in that geographic location will affect every country," Kissinger said.

"For Pakistan it will undermine whatever order exists today," he said, adding that Shiite-majority Iran would also be threatened by a fundamentalist Sunni regime in Kabul.

"In many respects India will be the most affected country if a jihadist Islamism gains impetus in Afghanistan," said Kissinger. "Even China, with its problems in Xinjian, cannot be indifferent," he said, referring to China's northwestern province which has recently seen increased Muslim unrest.

The 87-year-old, who negotiated US disengagement from the Vietnam conflict, said "an essentially unilateral American role cannot be the long-term solution" for Afghanistan.

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