US mulls political role for Taliban to end protracted stalemate

March 22nd, 2009 - 1:00 pm ICT by ANI  


London, Mar 22 (ANI): To bring the Taliban into the Afghan political process in order to achieve a peaceful resolution to the war in Afghanistan, the United States has signalled a new initiative.

The US Ambassador to Kabul said that America would be prepared to discuss the establishment of a political party, or even election candidates representing the Taliban, as part of a political strategy that would sit alongside reinforced military efforts to end the increasingly intractable conflict.

William Wood, the outgoing US ambassador to Afghanistan, said that insurgencies, like all wars… end when there is an agreement.

He said while the US saw no way there could be power-sharing or an enclave for the Taliban, there is room for discussion on the formation of political parties [or] running… for elections. That is very different from shooting your way into power. The key requirement would be respect for the constitution, Wood added.

The move will cause concern among allies struggling to keep pace with rapidly evolving US policy, The Observer reports.

Changing the Afghan Constitution as part of potential negotiations, taking senior Taliban figures off UN blacklists to establish dialogue and possible prisoner releases are other ideas being discussed.

European nations are currently weighing up US requests for more troops and resources for Afghanistan ahead of a series of forthcoming summits. Tough fighting is expected as America sends a surge of 17,000 troops into the country before the August elections. (ANI)

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