Wednesday, September 29, 2010

70 Member peace council in Afghanistan to negotiate with Taliban -

"Afghan Government Sets Up 70-Member Peace Council

KABUL, Afghanistan September 28, 2010, 08:52 pm ET
In an effort to find a political solution to the war, the Afghan government on Tuesday set up a 70-member peace council, formalizing efforts already under way to reconcile with top Taliban leaders and lure insurgent foot soldiers off the battlefield.

A political resolution to the nine-year war is a key to any U.S. exit strategy in Afghanistan. Still, leaders of ethnic minorities, including some named to the peace council, remain concerned that negotiating with the Taliban will open a path for the hardline fundamentalist group to regain power.

President Hamid Karzai has long said that he will talk to insurgents who renounce violence, sever ties to terrorists and embrace the Afghan Constitution. Publicly, the Taliban have responded, saying they won't negotiate until foreign troops leave the country, yet there are many indications that backdoor discussions have occurred...."

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