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Page last updated at 07:47 GMT, Wednesday, 11 August 2010 08:47 UK

'No group should be beyond talking to'

Jonathan Powell, Tony Blair's chief negotiator in Northern Ireland, has said we should be talking to the Taliban to negotiate peace in Afghanistan.

He told to Today presenter John Humphrys that "no group should be beyond talking to" but that negotiations would be "impossible" unless held in private.

While he did not believe negotiations were currently taking place, he cautioned that sending a message that the coalition forces will leave the country is "not terribly helpful".

"Effective talks can only take place when both sides realise they can't win," he said.

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