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David Cameron questions Gordon Brown on 'talking to The Taliban'

Cameronatpmqs Extracts from exchanges during the Prime Minister's statement on Afghanistan.

David Cameron: "May I ask the Prime Minister about the reports in today’s newspapers? Press headlines say clearly that the Government plan to talk to the Taliban, but the Prime Minister said in his statement that “we will not” talk to “these people”. Does that not demonstrate once again the error of briefing the press in advance of making statements in this House? But is it not more serious than that? These appear to be completely conflicting messages, and they really could undermine our forces in what they are doing. In his reply, can the Prime Minister clear this up and tell us what he will do to investigate how this took place?"

Gordon Brown: "Let me repeat what I said in my statement—that our aim is to isolate and eradicate the Taliban insurgency and to isolate the leadership. We are not negotiating with the leadership and we do not propose to do so. However, we want to support President Karzai in his efforts at reconciliation. If he is successful in bringing across members of the previous insurgency, who then declare that they will give up fighting, support democracy and be part of the system, that will show that the efforts to achieve reconciliation will have been important to the whole country’s future."


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