British Prime Minister David Cameron made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Saturday to reinvigorate peace talks with the Taliban and reassure the Kabul government of the international community's continued support.
Mr. Cameron visited British military bases in southern Afghanistan before flying to the capital for talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
His visit comes just days after a brazen Taliban attack in central Kabul shattered hopes that the war is over. Sporadic attacks on government and international forces throughout the country have been blamed on the Taliban.
A meeting between U.S. and Taliban representatives scheduled to take place in Qatar earlier this month was cancelled after protests by the Afghan government that the Taliban was styling itself as an Afghan government in exile.
President Karzai broke off security talks with the United States in mid-June and threatened to boycott the peace process altogether.
From Kabul, Prime Minister Cameron is traveling on to Islamabad for talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Meanwhile, the deputy commander of NATO-led forces in Afghanistan says that an opportunity to bring peace to Afghanistan was missed when the Taliban were on the defensive in 2002. British General Nick Carter, told Saturday's Guardian newspaper that the country will need western military support beyond next year when U.S. troops are scheduled to leave.
Afghanistan is in the process of preparing for presidential elections in April of 2014.