By Hamid Shalizi
KABUL (Reuters) - The United States and other foreign powers are engaged in preliminary negotiations with the Taliban about a possible settlement to the near decade-long war in Afghanistan, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Saturday.
"Peace talks are going on with the Taliban. The foreign military and especially the United States itself is going ahead with these negotiations," Karzai told a news conference in the Afghan capital.
Diplomats have already said there have been months of preliminary talks between the two sides, and Karzai, who is a strong advocate of peace talks, has long said Afghans are in contact with insurgent groups.
But Saturday's comments are the first official confirmation of U.S. involvement in talks.
(Writing by Emma Graham-Harrison; Editing by Nick Macfie)