NATO does not rule out talks with Taliban to bring about peace in Afghanistan

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Washington, Oct 2 : General David McKiernan, the commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, has reportedly not ruled out holding talks with the Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar for ensuring peace in the country. He also called for enlisting tribes to help achieving the desired objective.

He said that the US-led coalition needed more troops for what, according to him, was increasingly a "tough fight" in eastern and southern Afghanistan.

"And, until we get to what I call a tipping point where the lead for security can be in the hands of the Afghan Army and the Afghan Police, there is going to be a need for the international community to provide military capabilities," The News quoted him as saying as telling to reporters.

McKiernan has asked for four more US combat brigades, support forces, helicopters and reconnaissance, intelligence and surveillance capabilities.

He said that any reconciliation efforts should be led by the Afghan government, but that the military would support it.

Asked whether dealing with the man who harbored Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was beyond the pale, McKiernan said, "I think that's a political decision that will ultimately be made by political leadership."

Earlier, on Tuesday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that he had asked Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah to arrange talks with the Taliban so that Omar and other militia leaders could return home in peace.

ANI

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