The US and Afghan governments have begun secret three-way talks with the Taliban, Afghan President Hamid Karzai told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published on Thursday.
The newspaper described the talks as an important breakthrough in efforts to end the 10-year war in Afghanistan, noting that Karzai's government had protested at previously being left out of talks between Washington and the insurgents.
"People in Afghanistan want peace, including the Taliban. They're also people like we all are. They have families, they have relatives, they have children, they are suffering a tough time," the Journal quoted Karzai as saying in an interview conducted on Wednesday in Kabul.
"There have been contacts between the US government and the Taliban, there have been contacts between the Afghan government and the Taliban, and there have been some contacts that we have made, all of us together, including the Taliban."
The newspaper said Karzai had declined to specify the location of the talks or go into further detail, saying he feared this could damage the process.