UN chief backs dialogue with Afghan Taliban
New York: UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday backed the initiation of dialogue with the Taliban in Afghanistan, noting that military operations alone cannot achieve peace and security.
Ban said he supported the Afghan-led negotiations but added that the UN was not involved in it.
The US acknowledged for the first time this week that it, along with some other countries, is engaged in preliminary outreach talks with the Taliban.
"There should dialogue and negotiations even with the Taliban and other insurgent armed groups," Ban told journalists, a day after he was elected for a second term.
"I believe and I support the Afghan led process of negotiations with Taliban for peace and stability while the international community led by ISAF has clear exit plans by 2014," he added, referring to the NATO-led security force in
US President Barack Obama is set to announce his plans for withdrawing the additional 30,000 surge troops from Afghanistan.
Recently, the UN Security Council split the al Qaeda and Taliban members on the UN sanctions list, saying that the objectives of both organisations are different. The move was aimed at encouraging the Taliban to break ties with al Qaeda.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said negotiations will be held only with those sections of Taliban which denounce their links with al Qaeda.
"UN is not dealing directly with Taliban in these negotiations but we are ready to provide necessary information and technical support," he said.
Ban said that UN mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) was giving technical support to the Afghan High Peace Council.
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