Gates says US must prevent Taliban's return in Afghanistan
Washington, Mar. 11 (ANI): While President Barack Obama's administration is still reviewing US strategy in Afghanistan, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said that America, "at a minimum," must make efforts to ensure that the Taliban does not return to power in Afghanistan after being ousted in 2001.
"I would say that at a minimum, the mission is to prevent the Taliban from retaking power against a democratically elected government in Afghanistan, thus turning Afghanistan, potentially again, into a haven for Al-Qaeda and other extremists," The News quoted Gates, as saying.
When Gates was asked about the possibility of negotiation with the Taliban in Afghanistan, he said, "The specific mission is clearly one of the subjects under review by the administration right now. And I think we have to wait until that's done to have real clarity on that."
Earlier, Obama had said that possibility of negotiations with elements of the insurgents should be considered, while US Vice President Joe Biden had seconded the opinion by saying-it was an option "worth exploring."
Taliban insurgents, allied with Al-Qaeda, have rebounded in Afghanistan in the years since the US-led invasion toppled their regime in 2001. (ANI)