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Karzai defends Taliban peace overtures

Afghan President Hamid Karzai participates in a Video Teleconference with United States Provincial Reconstruction Team Leaders, National Guard Agriculture Development Team Representatives, and Afghan Governors in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on September 26, 2008. (UPI Photo/Kristoffer Tripplaar/Pool)
Afghan President Hamid Karzai participates in a Video Teleconference with United States Provincial Reconstruction Team Leaders, National Guard Agriculture Development Team Representatives, and Afghan Governors in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on September 26, 2008. (UPI Photo/Kristoffer Tripplaar/Pool) | License Photo

KABUL, Afghanistan, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai says he understands why some members of the U.N. Security Council may be alarmed by his peace overtures to the Taliban.

But, he assured members of a visiting U.N. delegation Wednesday, he wants to deal only with elements of the Islamic fundamentalist insurgency that are amenable to compromise and said he would not negotiate with terrorist groups, CNN reported.

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"Afghanistan will do everything it can to provide the opportunity for peace and return to Afghanistan for those Taliban who are seeking peace and who have been frightened or forced into aggressive activity against us. This does not include al-Qaida or other terrorist networks and I hope the international community will stand with us," Karzai said.

The Afghan president earlier Wednesday said the NATO-led coalition forces in the country had neglected the militants' sanctuaries since 2004 when he noticed rising terrorist activities, Xinhua news agency reported.

The delegation is on a fact-finding mission and includes representatives from 14 other countries, the report said.

CNN said Karzai also brought up the idea of a time line to end the conflict that would include negotiations with moderate Taliban leaders.

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