14 Feb '12, 3am

US bid to spark Afghan-led peace talks faces hurdles

US bid to spark Afghan-led peace talks faces hurdles

WASHINGTON: The United States is engaging in intense exploratory talks with the Taliban in a bid to launch Afghan-led negotiations aimed at ending a decade-long war, but such negotiations face daunting hurdles. Questions swirl around a flurry of talks involving State Department special envoy Marc Grossman who wants the Taliban to set up an office in the Gulf Arab state of Qatar to serve as an open platform for negotiations. Analysts said that while the United States has made clear it intends to hand negotiations over to the Afghans and see the bulk of US and allied forces leave by 2014, Washington does not know Taliban intentions. Do the Taliban really want to negotiate with Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government, which they call a US puppet, and seek a political process? Or do they simply want the exit of all foreign troops from Afghanistan? "We may not be able to dis...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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