Talks best way for peace in Afghanistan: Karzai
Last Updated: Tuesday, July 28, 2009, 23:22
Kabul: Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday said talks with the Taliban were the most effective way to end a bloody insurgency and welcomed Britain's new backing of these efforts.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, his country suffering heavy casualties in Taliban strongholds in the south, yesterday called for negotiations with militants "who can be reconciled to live within the Afghan constitution".

But a spokesman for the insurgent group today reiterated there could be no talks without the withdrawal of the roughly 90,000 international soldiers based in Afghanistan to prop up the fragile government.

Karzai has for years called on militants from the Taliban and other rebel groups to drop their weapons and accept the pro-democracy constitution drawn up after the ouster of the Taliban regime in a US-led invasion in late 2001.

Political dialogue with the Taliban was "the most effective approach to bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan (and) is based on deep understanding by the Afghan government of the current situation," he said.

"President Karzai stresses the need for more intensified efforts in the peace process and calls upon the international community to back the position of the Afghan government concerning talks with Taliban," the statement said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, July 28, 2009, 23:22

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