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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The American ambassador in Afghanistan says the United States wants serious peace negotiations with the Taliban but that it has not yet been possible to get the process under way.

James Cunningham told reporters Thursday that it's important for the Afghan government to get the talks started and to get the "best results possible," but he admitted it is a "process that hasn't even really begun."

Informal talks started but collapsed last March. With Afghan presidential elections and the withdrawal of most foreign combat troops looming in 2014, Afghanistan and its international allies are trying to push a peace process with the Taliban to bring an end to the conflict.