Seeking Talks, US May Allow Taliban Political Party

Some could run for office, but power-sharing impossible: diplomat
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2009 12:35 PM CDT
Seeking Talks, US May Allow Taliban Political Party
US Ambassador to Afghanistan William Wood speaks during a press conference at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008.   (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

In an effort to establish a dialogue with the Taliban, the US may allow the militant group to create a political party or be represented by election candidates, the Guardian reports. Other options include removing Taliban leaders from UN blacklists, releasing prisoners, and revising Afghanistan’s constitution. But there’s “no way there could be power-sharing or an enclave" for the Taliban, said a US diplomat.

“There is room for discussion on the formation of political parties or running for elections. That is very different from shooting your way into power,” says the US ambassador to Afghanistan. "Insurgencies, like all wars, end when there is an agreement,” he tells the Guardian, adding that insurgents haven’t shown an inclination to make a deal yet. "They have said 'No start of negotiations without prior departure of foreign forces.' That's not serious. Let's get serious." Such plans would accompany continued military action.
(Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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