Miliband urges NATO members to change Afghan policy, talk with Taliban

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Brussels, July 27 (ANI): British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has urged NATO members to change strategies on Afghanistan in a bid to facilitate talks with moderate elements of the Taliban.

In a speech delivered at the NATO headquarters, Miliband said that while it was vital to keep pressing forward with the military campaign against the insurgents, it would also be prudent to start a Northern Ireland-style dialogue with the enemy.

Miliband asked Allies to support the Afghan government and to help it to play a role in working for the reconciliation once the fighting stopped, The Times reports.

"Taliban commanders and foot soldiers face an increasingly debilitating struggle," said Miliband.

Meanwhile, Douglas Alexander, the country's International Development Secretary, has renewed British backing for a Northern Ireland-style dialogue with elements of the Taliban to help end the conflict in Afghanistan.

"I think people recognise from the experience of places like Northern Ireland that it is necessary to put military pressure on the Taliban while at the same time holding out the prospect that there can be a political process that can follow, whereby those that are willing to renunciate violence can follow a different path," he said.

Bill Rammell, the Foreign Office Minister, told the Commons last year that Britain would support Afghan efforts to reach out to Taliban elements who were "genuinely prepared" to leave the insurgency and engage in the political process.

The Obama administration has increased pressure on Kabul to begin such a process. (ANI)

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