NEWS: U.S. backs talks with Taliban

U.S. backs talks with Taliban as envoys expelled

The United States ambassador to Kabul has lent his support to attempts to talk to elements of the Taliban as two Western diplomats left the country after being declared persona non grata by the Afghan government.

Michael Semple, the Irish-born acting head of the EU mission, and Mervyn Patterson, a UN political adviser, left for Pakistan following a row over secret talks involving the Taliban.

The ambassador, Bill Woods, tried to defuse the row, describing such talks with the Taliban as “a particularly difficult field which requires particularly close communication, particularly close dialogue (with the government) and apparently that did not take place. [complete article]

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