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US should talk to Afghan neighbours: Kissinger

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - 11:28

Washington: Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger has suggested that the US should first hold talks with Afghanistan`s neighbouring countries before holding any negotiation with the Taliban.

"I have no objection in principle to negotiating with the Taliban," Kissinger said at the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson International Centre. "But for the purpose of ending the war, it`s the wrong sequence of events."

"The first negotiation in my view ought to be with surrounding countries," he said, referring to countries like India, Pakistan and Iran.

"If there is a negotiation with the Taliban, it should be in the framework of a multilateral regional negotiation," he said.

The Obama administration has decided to pull out US forces from Afghanistan in 2014. Analysts argued that the Taliban, given the fixed timeline, will simply adopt the strategy of "waiting it out".

"If you negotiate while your forces are withdrawing, you`re not in a great negotiating position," Kissinger noted.

But he also admitted that there is not going to be sufficient public support in the US if the war in Afghanistan stretches beyond the 2014 deadline.


First Published: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - 11:28
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