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West must set `red line` for reconciling Taliban: Miliband

Last Updated: Saturday, January 30, 2010 - 09:23

Davos: The West must set a clear "red line" strategy for Taliban who might be tempted to come into the Afghan political process, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said on Friday.
Speaking a day after hosting a London conference on Afghanistan, he said the meeting gave a "decisive show of unity" -- and declined to comment on a report that the Taliban had already met a UN envoy, calling it an "allegation”.

He also warned that there is a real risk of a further spike in violence, and that countries in Afghanistan`s neighbourhood must do more or face the conflict spreading in the region.

"The whole of south and central Asia is going to have to contribute to the stability of Afghanistan or Afghanistan is going to export its instability to the rest of the region," he said at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.

Yesterday`s London meeting of nearly 70 countries backed an Afghan government drive to tempt fighters out of the Taliban insurgency with jobs and other incentives -- a plan for which President Hamid Karzai won USD 140 million of funding.

The Taliban released a statement dismissing the initiative as "futile" but a UN official revealed that "active members of the insurgency" had met the UN envoy to Afghanistan this month -- at their request -- to discuss peace talks.


First Published: Saturday, January 30, 2010 - 09:23
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