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Rediff.com  » News » Kabul involved in US-Taliban peace talks, says Karzai

Kabul involved in US-Taliban peace talks, says Karzai

February 16, 2012 15:39 IST
Secret three-way talks between the United States, Afghanistan and Taliban have begun, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said.

Disclosing this important breakthrough in efforts to end the 10-year war, Karzai added that said he believed the majority of Taliban fighters were "definitively willing to seek peace".

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"There have been contacts between the US government and the Taliban, there have been contacts between the Afghan government and the Taliban, and there have been some contacts that we have made, all of us together, including the Taliban," Karzai said in the interview to the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday in his office at the Arg Palace in Kabul.

But, he declined to specify the location of the talks or reveal any further details, saying he feared that could damage the dialogue process.

Karzai did not mention the involvement of Pakistan in the dialogue, but said that its cooperation "would make the whole matter easier for us, for the Taliban, and for the US".

The Taliban had said last month that they planned to set up a political office in Qatar ahead of possible formal talks with the US. Officials from Afghanistan and US have said that exploratory contacts are already underway.

The Obama administration has confirmed tentative talks with the Taliban on a possible transfer of five inmates from Guantanamo Bay to Qatar.

Karzai's remarks suggest progress in tentative peace efforts as US President Barack Obama begins withdrawing forces and prepares for the transfer of security responsibilities to Afghanistan by the end of 2014, the WSJ reports.