Secretary Gates To Discuss The Future Of Afghanistan Osama bin Laden's death could create an opportunity for a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan. There were reports last week that a European official met with a representative of Mullah Omar, a powerful Taliban leader with close ties to bin Laden. On Wednesday's All Things Considered, host Robert Siegel will ask Defense Secretary Robert Gates whether the U.S. would be open to those talks.
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Secretary Gates To Discuss The Future Of Afghanistan

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Secretary Gates To Discuss The Future Of Afghanistan

Secretary Gates To Discuss The Future Of Afghanistan

Secretary Gates To Discuss The Future Of Afghanistan

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Osama bin Laden's death could create an opportunity for a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan. There were reports last week that a European official met with a representative of Mullah Omar, a powerful Taliban leader with close ties to bin Laden. On Wednesday's All Things Considered, host Robert Siegel will ask Defense Secretary Robert Gates whether the U.S. would be open to those talks.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, host:

One question now is whether bin Laden's death creates an opportunity for a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan. In an interview with NPR's Robert Siegel, Defense Secretary Robert Gates suggested the U.S. is open to a deal with the Taliban.

Secretary ROBERT GATES (Department of Defense): Well, I think that, you know, the way these conflicts come to an end is that peace is made between people who've been killing each other. The Taliban are a part of the political fabric in Afghanistan at this point. And if they're willing to follow the rules, if they're will to put down their weapons, if they're willing to abandon al-Qaida, if they're willing to live under the Afghan constitution, then I think there's a strong basis for them to re-enter the political process.

ROBERT SIEGEL: And a good outcome, success - if not a victory - in Afghanistan, would inevitably mean seeing people that we've been fighting against being part of the post-war order in Afghanistan.

Sec. GATES: Probably.

SIEGEL: Yeah.

KELLY: You can hear more of that conversation between Robert Siegel and Secretary Gates today and tomorrow on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.

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KELLY: It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News.

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