U.S.-Taliban direct talks planned


Reuters
February 20, 2011

The United States has entered into direct talks with leaders of the Taliban in Afghanistan, but contacts are exploratory and not yet a peace negotiation, according to an article on Saturday in The New Yorker magazine.

The article, citing people briefed on the talks, said the talks are to assess who in the Taliban leadership, if anyone, might engage in formal peace negotiations and under what conditions.

“They’re exploratory, at least as I understand them,” Steve Coll, the article’s author, said in an interview on National Public Radio.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has held sporadic talks with current and former Taliban members, but with little apparent result.

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