19 Jun '11, 7pm

US in discussions with Taliban militants in Afghanistan

US in discussions with Taliban militants in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON: Defence Secretary Robert Gates confirmed on Sunday that US officials were involved in preliminary discussions with the Taliban to seek a political solution to the war in Afghanistan but said he didn't expect significant progress for months. Gates also said recent gains on the ground in Afghanistan meant President Barack Obama would have "a lot of room for manoeuvre" when deciding how many troops to withdraw as he begins a limited US drawdown next month. Almost a decade into the Afghan conflict, the American public has grown increasingly war-weary and the killing of Osama bin Laden and other leading Al-Qaeda figures in recent months have fuelled calls for a rapid pullout. Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced on Saturday that the United States was holding talks with the Taliban - the first official confirmation of such contacts. "I think there's been outreach ...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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