John Baron MP questions Prime Minister over Afghanistan

July 3, 2013
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MP calls for non-conditional talks with the Taliban

 

Yesterday in the House of Commons the Prime Minister, Rt Hon David Cameron MP, gave a statement on Afghanistan. The Statement followed his visit last week to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In the House, John said,

“For the many of us who supported the expulsion of al-Qaeda, but opposed the morphing of the mission into one of nation-building, this has indeed been a long and sad road – compounded by the fact that we should have been holding talks with the Taliban a long time ago.”

“Will the Prime Minister use his best offices to ensure talks with the Taliban are truly unconditional – because this has been a stumbling block in the past, particularly with the Americans?”

The Prime Minister replied that he had long supported the peace process, but added that, in his opinion, talks could not be without any preconditions.

Afterwards, John said,

“For too long we have not given the diplomatic and political processes the attention they deserve. Some form of a political settlement is essential pending our withdrawal of combat forces by the end of next year.”

“Previous talks have foundered on the altar of preconditions. These have included demands that the Taliban lay down their arms and accept the Afghan constitution – these will never happen. I urge the Government and our allies to approach any talks with an open mind.”

Ends

Word Count: 249

Date: 3rd July 2013

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