Afghan senior official: 'Taliban ready to talk peace'

June 18, 2013 17:27

KABUL - The Taliban have held secret discussions with the Afghan government and are willing to consider peace talks, a senior Afghan official said on Tuesday, in what may be a significant step towards an end to the long-running war.

"The peace talks will certainly take place between the Taliban and the High Peace Council," said the senior official, referring to the body created by Afghan President Hamid Karzai in 2010 to broker peace with the insurgency.The Taliban have until now said they would not countenance peace talks with the Karzai government, which they consider a stooge of the United States and other Western nations.

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