Image Source: Al Jazeera
Taleban fighters to be 'bought off' with $500m
Sam Coates & James Bone - The Times
January 28, 2010
Britain is ready to contribute millions of pounds to a fund to buy off Taleban gunmen who are fighting British troops in southern Afghanistan.
More than 60 delegations, from Colombia to Australia, will gather in Lancaster House this morning to draw up an exit strategy from Afghanistan. Much of it is based on reintegrating the Taleban rank and file, wooing the Taleban leadership and gradually handing security to the Afghan Army and police.
The conference is expected to agree a $500 million (£310 million), five-year fund for President Karzai to “buy off” insurgents who are not ideologically committed to destroying the West.
Downing Street confirmed that Britain will make a contribution of a “few million”. Germany has agreed to $70 million over five years and the bulk of the money will come from the Japanese aid budget to Afghanistan, diplomats suggested.