Taliban Ready for Peace Talks: Afghan Peace Council Chief

Former president says 'first steps' being taken
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 14, 2010 9:41 AM CDT
Former Afghan President and chief of a new peace council Burhanuddin Rabbani holds a press conference, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010 in Kabul, Afghanistan.   (Dusan Vranic)

(Newser) – A former Afghan president who heads a new peace council said today that he's convinced the Taliban are ready to negotiate peace. Burhanuddin Rabbani told reporters in Kabul that the Taliban have not completely rejected the idea of negotiating a nonmilitary resolution of the war. "They have some conditions to start the negotiations process. It gives us hope that they want to talk and negotiate," Rabbani said.

"We are taking our first steps," he said. "I believe there are people among the Taliban that have a message that they want to talk. They are ready." The Afghan government has acknowledged that it has been involved in reconciliation talks with the Taliban, but discussions between the two sides have been described as mostly informal and indirect message exchanges relying on mediators. The Afghan Taliban, meanwhile, have denied having discussions.

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