Karzai opponents talk to Taliban
KABUL, Afghanistan – Afghan opposition parties, frustrated with the government’s lack of progress in making peace with the Taliban, have opened their own channel for negotiations with militant groups in hopes of putting their imprint on a deal to end 11 years of war.
Taliban and opposition leaders confirmed to The Associated Press for the first time that the parties opposed to President Hamid Karzai have been talking since the beginning of the year to the Taliban as well as the militant group headed by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a U.S.-declared terrorist.
They are trying to find a political resolution to the Afghan war ahead of two key events in 2014 – the presidential race that will determine Karzai’s successor and the final stage of withdrawal of international combat troops from the country. The Afghan constitution bans Karzai from running for a third term, and there are fears that the troop withdrawal plus a new leader in the palace could usher in a new era of instability in Afghanistan.
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