Taliban called to negotiating table

Feb. 4, 2013 at 12:09 PM
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LONDON, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- The Taliban in Afghanistan are called on to enter into peace negotiations, a statement from a trilateral summit read.

British Prime Minister David Cameron met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari in London to discuss efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan. International forces are expected to leave the country next year.

A statement from the meeting said all parties to the London talks backed initiatives for a Taliban political office in Doha.

"The end result should be one in which all Afghans can participate peacefully in the country's political future," the statement read. (Cameron, Karzai and Zardari) called on the Taliban to take those steps necessary to open an office and to enter into dialogue."

The United States has supported reconciliation with the Taliban as long as the movement renounces violence and honors the spirit of the Afghan Constitution.

The Taliban said its members met with U.S. officials in Qatar last year to discuss confidence-building measures in Afghanistan.

The movement said the idea behind the Qatar office was to set up a "reference point for talks" with members of the international community. Its policy, the group added, was based on both political and military efforts to implement Islamic law in Afghanistan.

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