WASHINGTON: The commander of US forces in Afghanistan said in an interview published on Monday that senior Taliban leaders could join a new government in Kabul.
Although US leaders started talking publicly about including the Taliban in a political solution earlier this month, Gen Stanley McChrystal went a step ahead when he spoke of also accepting senior Taliban leaders in a possible new arrangement.
When asked if senior Taliban leaders might eventually become government leaders in Kabul, Gen McChrystal said: “I think that anybody who dedicates themselves to the future and not the past, and anybody whose future is focussed on the right kinds of things for Afghanistan,” might participate in government.
In a related development, the leader of the UN mission in Afghanistan called for the removal of some Taliban leaders from the UN terrorist list as a step towards beginning negotiations.
In an interview to The New York Times, Kai Eide, the United Nations special representative, also implored the American military to meet another Taliban demand -- speed up its review of the roughly 750 detainees in its military prisons in Afghanistan.
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