Denmark supports opening political talks with Taliban guerillas

October 10, 2007 11:55

Denmark's Defense Minister Soeren Gade on Wednesday backed the idea of opening talks with the Taliban guerrillas fighting NATO troops in Afghanistan. Six years after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, its President Hamid Karzai has been asking Taliban militants to meet the government for peace talks. The UN has said a rising number of Taliban fighters also want peace. But the Taliban and the factional warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of the militant group Hezb-i-Islami, have rejected those offers, saying international troops must first leave the country. "If it could spare lives to have the Taliban involved in the political process, it should be tried," Gade said in a live television interview. "A condition is that they lay down their arms and stop attacking civilians and NATO forces."

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