London, Sept 1 (ANI): British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said that the country's forces have 'created the space' in Afghanistan in which a political settlement could be reached with elements of the Taliban who were prepared to renounce violence.
During a surprise visit to Afghanistan, Clegg hinted at there being a need for more contact with the Taliban.
He further assured that the military campaign in Afghanistan is 'turning to a corner' and added that there would be no extension to the coalition's 2015 deadline for all British combat troops to be pulled out, Mail Online reports.
"I think you are turning the corner, and what you are doing is you're creating the space for Afghan society to find its own feet," he told a group of around 50 troops training in a mocked-up Afghan village.
"The choice for the Taliban is that they can either carry on fighting and they will be defeated by you, or they can put down their arms and recognise the Afghan constitution, they can turn their backs on al Qaida and they can play a role in creating a stable Afghanistan," he added.
He further praised the 'bravery and professionalism' of over 10,000 British force, but said that the situation has improved since his last visit in 2008.
"We hear so much bad news, 'Of course the country mourns when people lose their lives. People are full of anguish when there are serious injuries. But what I have seen today is a complete transformation of the military effort that I first saw when I visited two years ago," he claimed. (ANI)