The Afghan government claims to have had contact with the Taliban, though the insurgent group denies this. The White House signaled its support, but said such contact, which the Washington Post reports is at the “secret, high-level talks” stage, “has to be done by the Afghans.”
The Afghan government says the contact does not yet amount to negotiations. —PZS
Taliban representatives and the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai have begun secret, high-level talks over a negotiated end to the war, according to Afghan and Arab sources.
The talks follow inconclusive meetings, hosted by Saudi Arabia, that ended more than a year ago. While emphasizing the preliminary nature of the current discussions, the sources said that for the first time they believe that Taliban representatives are fully authorized to speak for the Quetta Shura, the Afghan Taliban organization based in Pakistan, and its leader, Mohammad Omar.