US talks should not start with Taliban: Kissinger

Updated: 2011-11-02 09:19


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WASHINGTON - The US should first negotiate with the neighboring countries of Afghanistan before it holds talks with Taliban which is aimed to bring it into the political process, former US State Secretary Henry Kissinger said on Tuesday.

"I have no objection in principle to negotiating with the Taliban," Kissinger said at the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson International Center. "But for the purpose of ending the war, it's the wrong sequence of events."

"The first negotiation in my view ought to be with surrounding countries," he said, referring to Pakistan, India and Iran and so on.

"If there is a negotiation with the Taliban, it should be in the framework of a multilateral regional negotiation," he said.

The Obama administration has decided to pull out US forces from Afghanistan in 2014. analysts argued that the Taliban, given the fixed timeline, will simply adopt the strategy of "waiting it out."

"If you negotiate while your forces are withdrawing, you're not in a great negotiating position," Kissinger noted.

But he also admitted that there is not going to be sufficient public support in the US if the war in Afghanistan stretches beyond the 2014 deadline.

"We selected objectives beyond the capacity of the American domestic consensus to support over the period required to implement them," said Kissinger, citing the US military interventions in Korean peninsular, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.