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

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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