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General: Taliban leaders accommodated

General: Taliban leaders accommodated
Commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan U.S. General David Petraeus salutes during in a change of command ceremony at ISAF Headquarters in Kabul on July 4, 2010. Petraeus received the flags of the United States and NATO forces to mark his formal assumption of command in Afhanistan. UPI/Hossein Fatemi. | License Photo

LONDON, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- The commanding U.S. general in Afghanistan says NATO forces have made accommodations for regional militant Taliban leaders to travel safely to Kabul for talks.

Speaking to the Royal United Services Institute in London, U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus said despite the vicious fighting in Afghanistan, extremist leaders have been allowed free passage to the capital, the BBC reported.

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"Indeed in certain respects we do facilitate that, given that needless to say it would not be the easiest of tasks for a senior Taliban commander to enter Afghanistan and make his way to Kabul," Petraeus said.

He offered few other details about the U.S. or NATO efforts to bring militants closer to Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government.

More than 35 countries have troops in Afghanistan as part of the NATO mission to bring down the Muslim totalitarian Taliban movement and end the country's massive opium poppy network.

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