Karzai confirms 'unofficial talks' with Taliba

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London, Oct 11 (ANI): Afghan President Hamid Karzai has confirmed that contact between the Taliban and his administration has been going on unofficially "for quite some time" to try to end the nine-year war.

Karzai has said he will negotiate with any insurgents who accept the Afghan constitution and sever links with al Qaeda

"We have been talking to the Taliban as countryman to countryman, talk in that manner," Karzai told CNN's Larry King when asked about a Washington Post report on secret high-level talks between the two sides.

"Not as a regular official contact with the Taliban with a fixed address but rather unofficial personal contacts have been going on for quite some time," he said in excerpts of the CNN interview.

Last week the Washington Post said the secret talks were believed to involve the Afghan government and representatives authorised by the Quetta Shura, the Afghan Taliban group based in Pakistan, and Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

The Telegraph reports that Karzai's interview is being aired one day after Afghanistan's former president Burhanuddin Rabbani was elected chairman of a new peace council, a Karzai initiative set up to broker an end to the war with the Taliban.

"Now that the peace council has come into existence, these talks will go on and will go on officially and more rigorously I hope," Karzai told King. (ANI)

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