AP Interview: Karzai willing to talk to Taliban

AP News
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Posted: Dec 03, 2009 9:52 AM

Afghanistan's president says he's willing to talk with the Taliban chief in a bid to bring peace to the country.

President Hamid Karzai said in an interview Thursday with The Associated Press that he would do "whatever it takes" to bring peace, including meeting with Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

But Karzai says he wants guarantees that the U.S. and its international partners are backing any peace bid. He says previous efforts at talks with the Taliban were undermined when ex-members of the hard-line movement were "harassed" by international forces even though they had quit the insurgency.

Karzai says not all Taliban are terrorists but members of al-Qaida and other terror groups are not welcome in the country.