Peace talks underway between Afghanistan and the Taliban

Taliban “want talks to take place,” as U.S. keeps a close eye

Senior NATO and Obama administration officials say that United States-led forces are allowing the movement of senior Taliban leaders to attend early peace talks in Kabul, even though U.S. officials won’t be sitting at the table. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said any reconciliation between Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government and Taliban insurgents has to be led by Afghans. But he also said the U.S. is offering advice and keeping an ear on the initial talks. This is the clearest indication yet of American support for high-level but preliminary discussions aimed at ending the war. The Taliban “want talks to take place,” said peace council leader Burhanuddin Rabbani. “Today there is a special agenda that exists here. Today the government and the international community are here with us.”

New York Times

Associated Press

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