UN Afghanistan representative says Taliban `weary of war`

The United Nations representative to Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura, said in an interview published on Thursday that Taliban militants were "weary of war," which opens the way for dialogue.

Updated: Jun 17, 2010, 20:55 PM IST

Oslo: The United Nations representative
to Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura, said in an interview
published on Thursday that Taliban militants were "weary of war,"
which opens the way for dialogue.

"All the information we receive indicates everyone is
weary of war, including the Taliban," de Mistura said in an
interview published on the website of daily Aftenposten.
"They will never win, they will never be able to take
control of the country and they know that," added the
Italian-Swedish diplomat, who arrived in Afghanistan on March
13 in replacement of Norway`s Kai Eide.

He remained vague on his plans for holding talks with
Taliban militants.

"When such discussions with the Taliban will be
launched, it won`t be seen as they will be discreet,
confidential, and hidden in the beginning," de Mistura said.

"That kind of thing does not happen in a conference,
but it is necessary because everyone is weary," he added.

At the end of March, the UN representative met with a
delegation from Hezb-e-Islami, a group headed by warlord
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
Hekmatyar, who was not at the meeting, is black-listed
as a terrorist by the United Nations and the United States.

In January, a UN official said de Mistura`s
predecessor Kai Eide met with Taliban militants in Dubai with
the hope of holding peace talks, but the militants denied the
meeting took place.

PTI