British troops may end Afghan combat in 'less than three years'

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Kabul, July 9(ANI): The new British ambassador to Kabul, Sir William Patey, has said that troops from his country may start to withdraw from combat operations in Afghanistan in less than three years.

Patey said that NATO's combat mission against the Taliban is already on course to end in three to five years.

"We are on a three to five year timescale-the combat role of NATO troops diminishing over three to five years," The Telegraph quoted Patey, as saying.

"The political process can accelerate that," he added.

Patey also urged early peace talks with the Taliban, and said that negotiations should start soon.

"If your message is 'you need to start talking about a political settlement sooner rather than later', I absolutely agree," Patey said.

"The history of conflict tells you it possible to fight and talk at the same time. All conflicts end in negotiation," he added.

He further said that the talks should include even those hardline Taliban figures who are unlikely to renounce violence and back the Kabul government.(ANI)

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