US can accept a Swat style truce in Afghanistan: Gates

February 21st, 2009 - 12:18 pm ICT by ANI  


Krakow, Feb 21 (ANI): US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has said that Washington could accept a political agreement between the Afghanistan Government and the Taliban along the lines of the truce in Pakistan.

Gates comments at the close of a NATO meeting contrasted with those of Richard Holbrooke, the US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, who said he was worried that the peace deal was tantamount to surrender by Pakistan.

We have said all along that ultimately some sort of political reconciliation has to be part of the long-term solution in Afghanistan, the Daily Times quoted Gates, as saying.

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said that a broader regional approach was needed to help put down the insurgency in Afghanistan.

The focus would be on more involvement from Pakistan, but could include Iran one day, he said.

He said the suggestion does not mean that NATO plans to enter into dialogue with Iran immediately, but that Tehran could be involved at a certain stage … in a regional approach toward Afghanistan.

Gates told reporters in Krakow, southern Poland, later that up to 20 nations have offered to boost their civilian or military commitments to Afghanistan and more are likely to do so soon. (ANI)

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