Afghan President Hamid Karzai admitted for the first time on April 6 that he has spoken directly with Taliban fighters about bringing peace to the country, as he rejected the formation of an unprecedented opposition front that challenges his rule.
“We have had representatives from the Taliban meeting with the different bodies of the Afghan government for a long time,” Karzai was quoted as telling a news conference at his isolated and heavily guarded palace.
“We have a lot of other Taliban coming to talk to us. I have had some Taliban speaking to me as well,” he added, without saying who he had met.
The US-backed leader said Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar is also welcome for talks to end ever-bloodier fighting five years after the Taliban’s ouster.