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Karzai confirms US, Taliban contact for peace talks

06-19-2011 09:14 BJT

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Afghan President Hamid Karzai has confirmed that the United States is in contact with Taliban militants for peace talks in Afghanistan. It marks the first time the Afghan leader has admitted to contact between the US government and the Taliban.

Committed to making Afghan a safe country.

Karzai Saturday admitted the United States and other foreign powers are engaged in preliminary negotiations with the Taliban about a settlement to the near decade-long war.

Hamid Karzai, Afghan president said "Peace negotiations with the Taliban and with other countrymen have begun. Those who accept the constitution, freedom, democracy and development of Afghanistan can take part in this negotiation. Foreign militaries and especially the United States are going ahead with these negotiations."

With the aim of a peaceful solution to the Afghan dilemma, Karzai's government also established a 70-member peace body, named the High Council for Peace to contact insurgents and convince them to give up fighting and join the government.

Karzai said the peace talks are not yet based on a certain agenda.

The U.S. administration neither confirms nor denies Karzai's

assertion on American contacts with the Taliban. It says only that Washington supports Afghan reconciliation and has assisted Afghan government-led reintegration initiatives aimed at the Taliban.

Kabul residents said they welcome such talks if they can bring peace to the war-torn country..

Nurullah Jan, Kabul resident said "If negotiation is for the purpose of bringing full time peace in Afghanistan, we welcome it and it is a good step forward. But if they are playing politics to bring peace for a few days for their own benefit and then war again, we don't want that temporary peace. I think there are two-faced deals going on."

Mohibullah Khan, Kabul resident said "Whoever tries for peace in Afghanistan, we support him - either America or President Karzai, we welcome peace talks and we urge them to end this bloodshed and killing of brothers. We want to live in peace."

Karzai was speaking a day after the U.N. Security Council split the U.N. sanctions list for Taliban and al Qaeda figures into two. Diplomats say the move can help induce the Taliban into talks on a peace deal in Afghanistan.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: CNTV.CN

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