UK urges Afghan government to reconcile with moderate Taliban guerrillas

2009-07-28 09:50 BJT

Special Report: Afghan presidential election |

Watch Video>>

The British Foreign Minister says the Afghan government must use the opportunity presented by the allied military surge to reconcile with moderate Taliban guerrillas willing to take part in the political process.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband addresses a news conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels July 27, 2009.REUTERS/NATO photos/Handout
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband addresses a news conference
at NATO headquarters in Brussels July 27, 2009.REUTERS/NATO photos/Handout

David Miliband, British Foreign Minister, said, "Today, while people in our countries accept the need to fight the Taliban to avoid the return of al-Qaida, they want to know whether, and how, we can succeed. They need the military to be part of the solution, but they cannot be susceptible to a military solution."

Meanwhile, during a speech at NATO headquarters, Miliband said hard-line fundamentalist commanders must be relentlessly pursued.

But ordinary rank-and-file rebels should be given an alternative of "fight or flight." He also called for greater burden-sharing among nations contributing troops to the war effort.

Twenty British soldiers have died in Afghanistan in July. That makes this month the deadliest month for British troops since the war began.

The deaths have set off a heated political debate about Britain's role in the war. They have also raised doubts over whether the military is properly equiped.

Editor: Zhang Pengfei | Source: