White House voices support for talks with Taliban

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama supports recent attempts by the Afghan government to open peace talks with Taliban leaders but still wants the insurgents to renounce violence and their support of al-Qaida, the White House said Wednesday.
Press secretary Robert Gibbs said, however, that the United States was not participating in any such talks. "This is about Afghanistan," he said. "It has to be done by the Afghans."
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that President Hamid Karzai's government has made contact with senior officials of the Afghan Taliban organization based in Pakistan who represent its leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar. However, talks are said to be at a preliminary stage.