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U.N. official: Taliban knows they can’t win war
Staffan de Mistura, the U.N. secretary-general’s special representative for Afghanistan and head of the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said it is important to find an “Afghan solution.”
“The time when [the Taliban] arrived and believed they could be trusted as a group of religious zealots who were bringing an anti-corruption environment is over,” he said. “They know that they cannot win, and the Afghan people will not accept them.”
“The end is going to be painful before it gets better,” he said.
India and Pakistan have been engaged in a proxy war in Afghanistan, and Mr. de Mistura said Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been fairly successful in balancing his relationships with New Delhi and Islamabad.
Mr. de Mistura said while in Iraq, Gen. Petraeus “showed a remarkable capacity of combining military skills with diplomatic sensitivity, cultural sensitivity and political finessing, which is quite a rare combination.”
The last election in August went “very badly,” he said, adding that it was important to have a more credible contest, but that expectations need to be lowered.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
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