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US has helped with Taliban talks in Afghanistan: General

The US commander in Afghanistan on Wednesday said he supports efforts to broker a settlement with the Taliban and that the United States has helped promote dialogue with insurgents in some "isolated cases."



Washington: The US commander in
Afghanistan on Wednesday said he supports efforts to broker a
settlement with the Taliban and that the United States has
helped promote dialogue with insurgents in some "isolated
cases."

In an interview with the Fox News Channel, General
David Petraeus said the Afghan government was leading the
effort to open talks with Taliban leaders while the United
States closely followed the process.
"The US is very much in the information loop and in
a couple of cases has helped in a sense, but is not doing the
negotiation," Petraeus said, according to excerpts of the
interview.

"Actually in a couple of isolated cases there`s
been a degree of facilitation, if you will," he said.

The war in Afghanistan would have to end based on a
negotiation, like other insurgencies elsewhere, including
Iraq, he said.

"We sat down across the table in Iraq from
individuals who had our blood on their hands. It`s what`s done
in just about any insurgency as you get to the end stages of
it."

Top US officials have said repeatedly that attempts
to negotiate a deal with insurgent leaders will likely only
succeed once the Taliban senses it has lost the upper hand on
the battlefield.
But the commander`s remarks marked a growing
willingness by Washington to support a negotiated settlement,
provided the insurgents promise to break links with Al-Qaeda
and meet other conditions.

The general distinguished between attempts to
broker talks with Taliban leaders and efforts to persuade foot
soldiers in the insurgency to lay down their arms, or
"reintegration."

He said the prospects for wooing insurgent fighters
back into their communities was "very real" and already
underway.

Petraeus was named commander in June after
President Barack Obama fired his predecessor, General Stanley
McChrystal, over a magazine interview in which he and his
aides made disparaging remarks about senior officials and
Obama himself.

PTI

From Zee News

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