(AFP) – Oct 7, 2008
COPENHAGEN (AFP) — Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller said in an interview published Wednesday he supported the idea of the Afghan government holding talks with the Taliban, albeit with some conditions.
"A dialogue and reconciliation should be realised in conformity with the Afghan constitution and the country's international obligations," he was quoted as saying in the conservative daily Berlingske Tidende.
Denmark, which currently has 700 troops serving in the southern Afghan province of Helmand, "wouldn't accept that there are talks with Taliban who support Al-Qaeda," said Moeller.
The rights women have regained since the Taliban were driven from power in 2001 should also not be negotiable, he said.
"We should civilise the Taliban so Afghanistan is not 'Talibanised' again, otherwise we'll have to leave the country," said the Danish foreign minister.
The Afghan government held talks with the Taliban in Saudi Arabia last month, a leading Saudi paper reported on Tuesday, despite denials from both Kabul and the Taliban that such talks had taken place.
However, the US-backed Afghan government has said it is hoping for peace talks.
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