Miliband: time to push for Afghan settlement
James F. Smith, Boston Globe, March 10, 2010
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband told an audience at MIT today that the government of Afghanistan should launch a push for a broad political settlement with Afghan rebel leaders to take advantage of the momentum generated in recent months by the US and British military push against Taliban insurgents.
In an address titled "the War in Afghanistan: How to End It," Miliband said the Afghan government should not only try to win over low-level rebel fighters but should also try to engage insurgent leaders and other political foes who are willing to enter into a dialogue, even if that means making concessions to rivals.
"The idea of political engagement with those who would directly or indirectly attack our troops is difficult," Miliband said in a prepared text. "But dialogue is not appeasement and political space is not the same as veto power or domination."
Along with engaging domestic political foes and insurgent leaders, Afghanistan should reach out to neighboring countries, including Pakistan, India and Iran, and work for "a new external political settlement," Miliband said.
"There needs to be a greater effort to reach out not just to disaffected Afghans, but the country's neighbors and near neighbors," he said.
For Complete article, click here
Karzai holds peace talks with Hekmatyar group - DT
Afghanistan seeks more independence - The Gazzette