Obama Open to Taliban Peace Talks

Karzai plan wins tentative support
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2010 6:39 AM CDT
Presiden Obama, left, and Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, right, during their joint news conference yesterday.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – Hamid Karzai has won some very tentative support from President Obama for his plan to try to make peace with Taliban leaders. At a joint press conference yesterday, Obama said when Karzai holds talks this summer, reintegration into Afghan society chould be on the table, the Los Angeles Times reports. "What we've said is that so long as there's a respect for the Afghan constitution, rule of law, human rights; so long as they are willing to renounce violence and ties to al Qaeda and other extremist networks; that President Karzai should be able to work to reintegrate those individuals into Afghan society,'' Obama said.

The president stressed, however, that there will be no let-up in military pressure on the Taliban in the meantime. "The incentives for the Taliban to lay down arms, or at least portions of the Taliban to lay down arms, and make peace with the Afghan government in part depends on our effectiveness in breaking their momentum militarily," he said. Karzai wraps up his visit to the US today with a televised discussion with Hillary Clinton.

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