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UK welcomes Taliban peace talks bid

Britain has welcomed Afghan President Hamid Karzai's announcement that he is setting up a council to pursue peace talks with the Taliban.

A statement issued by Karzai's office in Kabul described the new High Peace Council as a "significant step toward peace talks".

The council will consist of former members of the Taliban, jihadi leaders, top figures and women. Its members are to be announced next week.

A Foreign Office spokesman in London said: "We warmly welcome today's (Saturday's) announcement.

"We will not bring about a more secure Afghanistan by military means alone.

"President Karzai's decision builds on the successes of the Consultative Peace Jirga and Kabul Conference, and is rooted in the Afghan people's desire for peace through negotiation.

"We have always said that a political process is needed to bring the conflict in Afghanistan to an end."

The creation of a forum for talks with insurgents willing to renounce violence, sever links with terror networks and honour the constitution was a key decision of the peace conference hosted by Mr Karzai in the Afghan capital in June.


From Belfast Telegraph