Britain hails Afghan leader's peace council announcement
Britain welcomed Saturday Afghan President Hamid Karzai's announcement that he had set up a council to pursue peace talks with the Taliban, saying peace would not be achieved by military means alone.
The High Peace Council has been described as a "significant step towards peace talks" by Karzai's office and will act as a negotiating body made up of representatives from across Afghan society.
A spokesman for the Foreign Office in London said: "We warmly welcome today's announcement.
"We will not bring about a more secure Afghanistan by military means alone."
The spokesman added that the move was "rooted in the Afghan people's desire for peace through negotiation.
"We have always said that a political process is needed to bring the conflict in Afghanistan to an end."
Britain has around 10,000 troops in Afghanistan and is the second-largest contributor to the 150,000-strong international force battling Taliban militants.
© 2010 AFP