Afghan leaders want war to stop before talks: Karzai

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 15, 2011 9:04 AM
Afghan leaders want war to stop before talks: Karzai

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan leaders who met on Thursday with President Hamid Karzai to discuss the future of peace talks with the Taliban, said Saudi Arabia or Turkey would be a "preferable" location for an office for the insurgent group, Karzai's office said.

Afghanistan on Wednesday said that it was recalling its ambassador from Qatar for consultations, after media reports that a Taliban representative had agreed with officials from the U.S. and Qatar to set up an unofficial embassy in the Gulf state to facilitate talks.

The leaders present at the meeting on Thursday in Kabul, who included former Mujahideen commanders, religious leaders and top government officials, also said the war and "violence against the people of Afghanistan" should stop before they start talks, the presidential palace said in a statement.

(Reporting by Mirwais Harooni, writing by Emma Graham-Harrison)