Miliband urges political solution for Afghanistan
There must be a political settlement to resolve the conflict in Afghanistan that includes all of the country's ethnic and tribal groups, British Foreign Minister David Miliband said Wednesday, dpa reported.
Miliband addressed the conflict during a speech at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology near Boston, and argued that the international military effort alone will not end the conflict.
Taliban militants who have cut ties with al-Qaeda and abandoned the armed struggle should also have a viable role in the political process, he said.
"A peace settlement must include the vanquished as well as the victors," he said.
"Now is the time for the Afghans to pursue a political settlement with as much vigour and energy as we are pursuing the military and civilian effort," Miliband said.
Britain is the second largest contributor of troops to the NATO mission in Afghanistan, behind the United States. The United States and NATO have intensified their effort in the last year, with President Barack Obama ordering tens of thousands of additional US soldiers into the conflict.
But the mission has increasingly focused on a civilian role to build an economy and infrastructure, while placing pressure on the Afghan government to end widespread corruption and to take more political responsibility for the future of the country.