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B - Comprehension Test 2

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Listen to the WebcastBritain in hot water over alleged Taliban meetings, answer the questions and to fill in the gaps.

Part 1.

1) What are the reasons for tensions rising between the Afghan Government and the international community?

2) What were the two official accused of?

3) What country is now under a threat to find itself in direct conflict with the Afghan?

Part 2.

In London, Stephanie Kennedy reports.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: The _____________of the European Union's mission in Afghanistan, Michael Semple, and ___________________Mervyn Patterson, were declared persona non grata by the Kabul administration for "threatening national security".

The pair has been accused of holding talks with the Taliban in Helmand Province in the south.

Rory Stewart is______________, and he now runs a charity aimed at_____________parts of Afghanistan.

RORY STEWART: These are two of ________________international experts in Afghanistan. Both of them have lived in Afghanistan for more than 10 years, through the Civil War period, through the Taliban period, and now through the ________________government. They speak local languages fluently and they're two of the only people who are able to ______________________in these very dangerous insurgency areas, largely because of their good relationship, ____________________over 10 years.

It's a very serious loss to the international community.


Part 3.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: And he says the Afghan Government's decision______________them is a worrying sign.

RORY STEWART: I think it's very disturbing. This is the kind of action ______________normally____________the Soviet Union, not with a country which is financed almost entirely by America and Europe and is supposed to be a liberal democratic state.

And it ______________the question, of course, of what exactly the Afghan Government is trying to hide, because they've_______________________________________two peoplewho are probably some of the people who know more about Afghanistan than anyone else, and is the reason they're expelling them that they're worried that these people might reveal that there's more support for the Taliban in the south than the Afghan Government is prepared_______________________.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: ______________________as a British newspaper__________________ that members of Britain's secret intelligence service,________, held meetings earlier this year with senior Taliban members in Afghanistan.

That could________________________ _____________________ for the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, after he recently denied there were any talks with the Taliban.


Part 4

GORDON BROWN:Let me make it clear ___________________________that as part of ____________________ we are winning the battle against the Taliban insurgency, we are ___________ and _______________________ the leadership of the Taliban, we are not negotiating with them.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: ________________________in Afghanistan say that talking to the insurgents does go on, it just depends on how you define the Taliban - are they just the ____________________ or the _______________________________________that back them who _____________________________to support the Government?

Alastair Crooke is a former EU________________. He now tries to ________________dialogue with both peaceful and armed Islamist groups. He explains the difficulties of talking to those fighting the Afghan Government and Western forces.


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