UK general says Taliban talks should begin 'soon'

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
June 27, 2010 19:26

 
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LONDON  — Talks with the Taliban should begin "pretty soon," said the head of the British Army Gen. Sir David Richards on Sunday.

US officials have expressed skepticism about now being the right time to talk to the Taliban leadership, because the insurgents believe they are winning.

Richards said in an interview with the BBC that his position was "purely a private view," and that he didn't know when any talks could begin. But the former commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan said he saw no barrier to starting them quickly.

"If you look at any counterinsurgency campaign throughout history there's always a point at which you start to negotiate with each other, probably through proxies in the first instance — and I don't know when that will happen," Richards said. "I think there's no reason why we shouldn't be looking at that sort of thing pretty soon."

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