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US should talk to Afghan neighbours: Kissinger

US should talk to Afghan neighbours: Kissinger

Nov 02, 2011 - 12:15

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger has proposed the Obama administration should first hold talks with Afghanistaninfo-icon's neighbouring countries before negotiating with the Talibaninfo-icon.

Speaking at the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson International Centre, Kissinger said: "I have no objection in principle to negotiating with the Taliban, but for the purpose of ending the war, it's the wrong sequence of events."

The first peace parleys ought to be with Afghanistan's neighbours, he believed, referring to countries like India, Pakistaninfo-icon and Iran.

"If there is a negotiation with the Taliban, it should be in the framework at a multilateral regional level," he stressed.

The Obama administration has decided to pull out US forces from Afghanistan in 2014. Analysts argued the Taliban, given the fixed timeline, would simply adopt the strategy of "waiting it out".

"If you negotiate while your forces are withdrawing, you're not in a great negotiating position," Kissinger noted. But he also admitted there is not going to be sufficient public support in America if the war in Afghanistan stretches beyond 2014.

PAN Monitor/mbg/mud

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