Tags: Obama | peace | Taliban | talks

Obama May Back Peace Talks with Taliban

Wednesday, 12 May 2010 09:53 PM

WASHINGTON — President Obama signaled Wednesday that, despite his earlier hesitation, he may embrace a plan by his Afghan counterpart to reconcile with certain Taliban leaders in hopes of uniting the country and ending a conflict that has stretched nearly nine years.

Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, speaking to reporters at a joint White House news conference, downplayed grievances that had flared into public view in recent months, straining the partnership between the two governments.

"With respect to perceived tensions between the U.S. government and the Afghan government, let me begin by saying a lot of them were simply overstated,'' Obama said in the East Room of the White House, with Karzai standing to his right in a purple and green striped robe.

But they said tensions were bound to recur and that difficult work remained in addressing one another's concerns, such as corruption in the Afghan government and civilian casualties resulting from U.S.-led military action.

Only last month, Karzai warned he might join the Taliban insurgency rather than yield to foreign pressure to reform his government. Karzai also accused western powers of rigging elections and morphing into an invading force.

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WASHINGTON — President Obama signaled Wednesday that, despite his earlier hesitation, he may embrace a plan by his Afghan counterpart to reconcile with certain Taliban leaders in hopes of uniting the country and ending a conflict that has stretched nearly nine years.
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Wednesday, 12 May 2010 09:53 PM
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