TALKS WITH TALIBAN IN ‘VERY, VERY EARLY’ STAGES: US GENERAL


A top US general said on Tuesday that talks between the United States and Taliban were in their “very, very early” stages and the Afghan government, so far excluded from talks, would have to be part of the solution.

“I would characterise where we are in the process as very, very early in the process,” US General Joseph Votel, head of the US military’s Central Command, told a Senate hearing.

“We clearly recognise that they (Afghan government) have to be a part of this solution and must be in the negotiation aspects of this, we can’t do that on their behalf.”

Votel also said that the United States would need to continue to support Afghan security forces financially even if US troops withdrew from Afghanistan.