Saturday, August 21, 2010

Wonderful: Kerry Announces Ongoing 'Negotiations' With Taliban

I wonder if he made this announcement from his luxurious $7 million yacht?
Sen. John Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Friday that there is a "very active" effort under way to reach a negotiated political settlement with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Kerry (D-Mass.) acknowledged that "efforts" have begun after visiting Afghanistan and Pakistan this week, meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other officials.

"I can report without being specific that there are efforts under way. They are serious and I completely agree with that fundamental premise — and so does General [David] Petraeus and so does President Obama — there is no military solution," he told NPR. "And there are very active efforts now to seek an appropriate kind of political settlement."

U.S. officials have acknowledged that some sort of political settlement must be reached with the Taliban -- a loosely affiliated group of Islamic insurgents that control large swaths of territory in Afghanistan -- in order to bring an end to the almost nine-year-long U.S. war there.

The beginning of settlement negotiations represents a significant development in terms of Western involvement there.

The announcement also comes at a time when a growing number of U.S. politicians and the public are becoming war weary and want a quick end to it.

Kerry was asked if negotiations are underway between either between the Afghan government or NATO and a specific portion of the Taliban.

Allied forces in Afghanistan have fought Taliban insurgents since 2001, when the war began. The group, which once governed the mountainous Central Asian nation, was booted from power, but has since regained control of several key areas of the country.

Kerry said that any "appropriate" settlement would have to include "a renunciation of al-Qaeda," a "reduction of violence," a "recognition of the constitutional rights of both Pakistan and Afghanistan and greater efforts to reduce sanctuaries for insurgency."
God luck with that, Lerch.

Doesn't look like the Taliban is taking these outreach efforts too seriously.

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