Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

The long road to peace talks

On October 14, 2001 - eight days into the US bombing of Afghanistan - a senior member of the Taliban offered to open negotiations with the US with a view to handing Osama bin Laden to a third country, on condition that the bombing stop and evidence about his involvement in September 11 be provided.

Perhaps the Taliban were playing for time, we will never know. President George Bush rejected the offer as "non-negotiable".

Ten years and thousands of deaths later, the US and Taliban are finally sitting around the negotiation table demonstrating, yet again, that all conflicts ultimately require political, rather than military, solutions.

STEFAN SIMANOWITZ

London NW3

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