US, Afghanistan, Taliban: Secret Talks Under Way

Hamid Karzai is in Pakistan today to discuss negotiations
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2012 7:16 AM CST
US, Afghanistan, Taliban: Secret Talks Under Way
Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai arrives with Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani (R) at the Prime Minister's House in Islamabad on February 16, 2012.   (Getty Images)

Afghan President Hamid Karzai arrived in Pakistan today, one day after telling the Wall Street Journal that his country has entered into three-way peace talks with the Taliban and the US. Karzai is in Pakistan to discuss the negotiations and request that country's help; Islamabad's cooperation is necessary, since Taliban fighters have reportedly been receiving support from Pakistan, the New York Times notes. The recent talks signal a breakthrough, considering the Taliban has up until now insisted it would not negotiate with Karzai's "puppet regime."

Karzai says the Afghanistan government has "reached an agreement" with the US over its role in the talks, which Afghan officials initially saw as too small. He also claims that the Taliban may accept a peace deal that allows some American troops to stay in Afghanistan, despite longstanding insistence by the group that it would continue to fight as long as foreign soldiers remained. But US officials warned against reading too much into the recent three-way meeting, which they said was simply laying a foundation for future talks; the Taliban couldn't be reached for confirmation. (Read more Taliban stories.)

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