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UN Envoy: Afghan Conflict Could 'Get Worse' Before Getting Better

United Nations Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) chief Staffan de Mistura
The top United Nations representative to Afghanistan says there are signs of progress in the country but warns that the conflict with Taliban militants may still "get worse" before it gets better.

Staffan de Mistura told the UN Security Council on December 22 that most people in Afghanistan realize the only solution to the conflict is a political resolution. He said even the Taliban realize this and understand they cannot win, although the Taliban won't say so publicly.

De Mistura said the Afghan and NATO-led military campaign against the militants is "showing results" and "producing improvement."

However, he said he is worried that the Taliban may try to stage what he called "one or two spectacular attacks" to change the perception of progress against them, and thus UN officials believe that before the situation "gets better, it may get worse."

compiled from agency reports