Sixty nations have promised 100 million euros for a fund to help disaffected Afghans – including Taliban fighters – to lay down their arms and rejoin mainstream society in Afghanistan.
An international conference on Afghanistan held in London has been hailed as the first time reintegration plans have won such international support.
Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Miliband said: “The intention is for some provinces to transition by late 2010/early 2011, on the road to meet President Karzai’s commitment that half of Afghanistan provinces would have an Afghan security leadership within three years and the whole of Afghanistan would be under Afghan security leadership within five years.”
Miliband launched a strong attack on Iran, which was invited but didn’t go to the conference.
The Afghan government on the other hand have invited the Taliban to a council of elders meeting. It is the strongest signal yet that the administration and its Western allies want a way out of the war.