Senior members of the British Government and its military have confirmed that the UK held talks with the Taliban, and the group may play a role in future Afghanistan politics.
The Telegraph reports that General Lord Dannett, former head of the British Army, said “If the Afghan people want the Taliban back, that’s their look out,” speaking after reports that US and UK forces will be leaving the country.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague made similar statements during while in Afghanistan.
Hague confirmed that behind the scenes talks between the UK government and the Taliban had been taking place.
“Reconciliation with people who have been in a military conflict can be very distasteful,” Hague told British newspaper The Sun. “In all these types of situations, you do have to face up to some distasteful things.”
The UK is following the US example and reviewing options for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. PM David Cameron has told reporters he is standing by his promise for a full removal by 2015. French troops are also expected to be withdrawn on a similar time frame.
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