LONDON - Some Taliban figures are ready to negotiate a comprehensive peace deal involving a long-term US military presence in Afghanistan, but will not accept Hamid Karzai's government, the Guardian reported on Monday.

Citing a report to be published by the Royal United Services Institute, the British newspaper said the Taliban was determined to make a decisive break with al-Qaida as part of a settlement and was open to negotiation about education for girls.

"The Taliban would be open to negotiating a ceasefire as part of a general settlement, and also as a bridge between confidence-building measures and the core issue of the distribution of political power in Afghanistan," the Guardian quoted the report as saying.

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