By Graeme Smith
The Globe and Mail
Thursday 01 May 2008
After years of refusing to negotiate with insurgents, soldiers in Kandahar put word out they want to talk.
Khenjakak, Afghanistan - Canadian troops are reaching out to the Taliban for the first time, military and diplomatic officials say, as Canada softens its ban on speaking with the insurgents.
After years of rejecting any contact with the insurgents, Canadian officials say those involved with the mission are now rethinking the policy in hopes of helping peace efforts led by the Afghan government.
The Canadian work on political solutions follows two separate tracks: tactical discussions at a local level in Kandahar, and strategic talks through the Kabul government and its allies. Neither type of negotiation appears to have made progress so far, though efforts are still in the early stages.
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