Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has said he is "optimistic" that talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government would begin in the coming months:
Britain's war in Afghanistan is winding down and the troops are beginning to make preparations to return home.
On a visit to Camp Bastion, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said he expects the armed conflict with the Taliban to start giving way to a process of negotiation in the "coming months"
"There is quite a lot of reaching out with messages to the Taliban," he said. "I think we're all optimistic that we will see the start of some meaningful political dialogue".
ITV News' International Correspondent John Irvine reports from Helmand Province:
Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond has defended the UK's mission to rescue two hostages in Nigeria that ultimately led to their deaths, saying "any hostage situation is fraught with risk."