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Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office – in the House of Commons at 3:33 pm on 3rd May 2011.

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Photo of David Cameron David Cameron The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 3:33 pm, 3rd May 2011

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his question. There are practical steps in place through the reconciliation and reintegration procedure that is available in Afghanistan through the President’s peace council. That enables Taliban fighters effectively to put down their weapons and join the political process, as long as they accept the basic tenets of the Afghan constitution. However, as well as that low-level reintegration, we need higher-level reconciliation, where we say to the Taliban, “If you accept the tenets of the constitution, give up violence and cut your links with al-Qaeda, there is a political path open to you,” because ultimately, insurgencies tend to end through a combination of force of arms and a simultaneous political process.