Afghan, Pakistan Talks Focus on Taliban Joining Peace Process, WSJ Says

Afghan government officials held talks with Pakistani security chiefs and former members of the Taliban to discuss bringing the movement fighting President Hamid Karzai’s government to peace talks, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The meetings, held on Oct. 5-6 in Kabul, were sponsored by the United Arab Emirates and didn’t involve any current Taliban members, the Journal reported. Afghan officials said the government would be ready to abandon some of its demands, such as the Taliban recognizing the Afghan Constitution, in an attempt to start peace negotiations, the newspaper said.

“Peace means that all the conditions of one side cannot be accepted, and both sides must compromise,” the report cited Nematullah Shahrani, Karzai’s Islamic affairs adviser, as saying.

In return, the Taliban would be expected to abandon their demand for the immediate departure of all foreign forces as a precondition for talks. The U.S. is supportive of discussions between the Taliban and the Afghan government and the process of reconciliation in the country, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, said yesterday in Washington.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Tighe in Sydney at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bill Austin at

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