FOREIGN AFFAIRS –STRATEGIC BASES IN AFGHANISTAN – 17 April 2012

Dr Julian Lewis: For a genuine settlement to be reached, equal pressure must be applied to the Taliban and to the Afghan Government. Will the Foreign Secretary update the House on whether the Americans are continuing to investigate the possibility of retaining one or more strategic bases in Afghanistan after 2014?

[The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr William Hague): I am sure that the Afghan Government feel that pressure. As my hon. Friend knows, they are in favour of reconciliation; they are promoting it. President Karzai has appointed the high peace council to take forward that work, endorsed by Loya Jirga, so that work is certainly under way. The presence of American forces is a matter for the Governments of Afghanistan and the United States to reach agreement on themselves, so I cannot give my hon. Friend any new news on that.]