William Hague Confirms UK’s Involvement in Taliban Peace Talks
Foreign Secretary William Hague has confirmed that the UK is in peace talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan. He says that, along with Prime Minister David Cameron, they have convinced the US that negotiations are the right way to step forward. He also admitted that a deal could mean having to look passed ‘distasteful things’ and risk anger from veterans and families of military servicemen and women who have fallen in the Afghan war.
Talking to reporters during a trip to Afghanistan, Hague said that talks happen with the Taliban, and they are linked, will assist where they can and are very supportive of it. They have been in the country for several years due to national security, and eventually coming to a deal is the most desirable and ultimate way of safeguarding that security. However, he noted that reconciliation with people who have been involved in the conflict can be distasteful.
This announcement may be seen as an attempt to soften the public toward efforts progressing in peace talks, but there are certainly going to be allegations that the government is running from the war. Hague says this isn’t the case at all, but he knows that it will be hardest to sell this to the families of the 374 British servicemen and women who have fallen during the war. If it wasn’t for the military’s great efforts in recent years, there wouldn’t be a reconciliation to talk about, he noted.
Hague went on to say, however, that families will need this explained carefully, loudly and clearly if a deal is successful. He doesn’t think they want the rest of the military to fight forever. They will want to know that, if possible, a longer-term settlement of some of the issues plaguing the country has been achieved through all of this, he added, which makes them right to try.