Hamid Karzai confirms unofficial contacts with Taliban - CNN
Afghan President Hamid Karzai confirmed that unofficial contacts with the Taliban have been taking place "for quite some time," Xinhua reported according to CNN.
"We have been talking to the Taliban as countryman to countryman, talk in that manner," Karzai told CNN's "Larry King Live" in an interview scheduled to air Monday night. Excerpts of the interview were released Sunday on CNN's website.
"Not as a regular official contact with the Taliban with a fixed address, but rather unofficial personal contacts have been going on for quite some time," he said.
Spokesman for the Afghan Foreign Ministry Ahmad Zahir Faqiri had previously rejected media reports on secret talks between Taliban leaders and top Afghan officials.
Karzai said "Now that the peace council has come into existence, these talks will go on, and will go on officially and more rigorously, I hope."
Karzai on Thursday inaugurated the High Council for Peace, a 70-member body, established by the government to accelerate peace talks with Taliban militants.
The president also said the Afghan government will fight against terrorist groups like al-Qaida.
"Those who are a part of al-Qaida and the other terrorist networks who are ideologically against us or who are working against Afghanistan knowingly and out of the purpose of hatred and enmity - those of course we have to work against," he said.