A group of academics, journalists and NGO workers (including Ahmed Rashid, Nir Rosen, Joshua Faust, Anatol Lieven) have published an open letter to President Barack Obama appealing to him to support direct negotiations with the Taliban leadership.
The Taliban’s leadership has indicated its willingness to negotiate, and it is in our interests to talk to them. In fact, the Taliban are primarily concerned about the future of Afghanistan and not – contrary to what some may think — a broader global Islamic jihad. Their links with Al-Qaeda – which is not, in any case, in Afghanistan any more — are weak. We need to at least try to seriously explore the possibility of a political settlement in which the Taliban are part of the Afghan political system.”
Filed under: Afghanistan