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NATO backs political settlement in Afghanistan (video)

NATO backs political settlement in Afghanistan (video)

Jan 09, 2013 - 14:18

KABUL (PAN): NATO on Tuesday reiterated its stout support for the Afghan-led reconciliation process and a political settlement in the country.

“A wide, broad and inclusive dialogue is the best way forward,” Dominic Medley, spokesman for NATO’s senior civilian representative to Afghanistan, told a news conference in Kabul.

Asked if the alliance was ready to negotiate with the Taliban’s Quetta Shura, the spokesman replied the Afghans needed to have confidence in any political settlement or reconciliation process.

“They need to have confidence that the process will bring peace, security and stability to their country. NATO, I have said this many times here before, supports the Afghan-led reconciliation process,” he remarked.

About NATO’s new mission in Afghanistan, he said the planning was underway. In about six weeks’ time, he added, ISAF defence ministers would meet in Brussels to look further into the planning for that mission.

In response to a query about the recent release of 80 Taliban and the possibility of their rejoining the insurgency, Medley said freeing the rebels was a sovereign decision of the Afghan government.

The spokesman added: “We know very clearly the conditions for any peace talks and reconciliation: it is renounce violence, it is respect the constitution, it is break links with Al-Qaida.”

In his opening remarks, Medley said that by mid-2013, all parts of Afghanistan would have begun transition and Afghan forces would be in the lead for security across the country. PAJHWO/Ataullah khpulwok

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