John Baron MP welcomes US talks with the Taliban

June 19, 2013

MP says there is much common ground to discuss

John Baron MP has welcomed news that the US is holding direct talks with the Taliban over the future of Afghanistan. John has long advocated the need for talks given his belief that the Taliban were never going to be beaten with the resources available. John was the only Tory to vote against the Government’s continuing Afghanistan policy on the first occasion a vote came before the House of Commons in 2010.

John said:

“For too long we have been fighting the wrong enemy in the wrong country. We went into Afghanistan to expel Al-Qaeda, and we succeeded very quickly. But we then made the mistake of allowing the mission to morph into one of nation-building, which meant we had to fight the Taliban. Confusion of the mission led to confusion regarding the enemy.”

“There is common ground to be explored between the West and the Taliban. The Taliban is not an homogenous group, but many elements have not forgotten that it was due to Al-Qaeda that they were driven from power. To many Taliban, both Western troops and Al-Qaeda are foreigners on their soil. Clearly the West would need guarantees relating to the return of Al-Qaeda.”

“Let us hope no pre-conditions are set for the talks. We showed in Northern Ireland that you can talk and fight at the same time. The soldiers have done their bit but they can only buy time; it is now up to the politicians to show their mettle and negotiate a political settlement.”

Notes to Editors

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