Talks with Taliban must be about peace

News the Taliban have agreed to their first direct talks with a U.S. official, regarding peace in Afghanistan, is highly significant for a number of reasons.

During the months following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America, U.S. forces, working with our allies, deposed the Taliban from power in Afghanistan. They had been providing safe haven for al-Qaida terrorist leaders, including the late Osama bin Laden.

But the Taliban are back, and the candid truth is they are scoring some victories against the Afghan government. Other Islamic radical organizations are threats to the peace there, too, but finding some way of reining in the Taliban would be a big win.

Taliban officials have met with Alice Wells, the top U.S. diplomat for South Asia, it has been reported. The topic was how — or even whether — an agreement to stop Taliban military and terrorist attacks can be crafted.

While in power, the Taliban were among the most brutal, repressive regimes in the world. But if the organization’s leaders are willing to compromise to end at least some of the bloodshed in Afghanistan, talks should be pursued.

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