Nation & World News

‘Secret Contacts’ Reported Between Afghan President, Taliban

By Mark Memmott on February 4th, 2014

It’s a question that’s been vexing American diplomats for months:

Why won’t Afghan President Hamid Karzai sign a security agreement with the U.S. — a deal that President Obama and his aides say needs Karzai’s signature if any American troops are going to stay in Afghanistan beyond the end of this year?

As Sean Carberry, NPR’s Kabul correspondent, has said:

“There are a lot of theories. They seem to be boiling down to two main lines of thought here. One is that he’s trying to hold on to power in the waning days of his presidency. … The second thing is that he’s saying he will sign this when a peace process begins with the Taliban, demanding the U.S. start that process. So he appears to think that in his waning days, he can get a peace deal that hasn’t happened for the last 12 years.”

Tuesday, The New York Times added to the evidence about Karzai’s desire to talk peace with the Taliban and how that might be a major reason he has balked at signing the security agreement.

“President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan has been engaged in secret contacts with the Taliban about reaching a peace agreement without the involvement of his American and Western allies,” the Times reported. It cited “Western and Afghan officials” as its sources and quoted Aimal Faizi, a Karzai spokesman, as acknowledging the secret contacts and that they continue.

The Times adds that:

” ‘The last two months have been very positive,’ Mr. Faizi said. He characterized the contacts as among the most serious the presidential palace has had since the war began. ‘These parties were encouraged by the president’s stance on the bilateral security agreement [with the U.S.] and his speeches afterwards,’ he said.”

According to the Times’ report:

“The clandestine contacts with the Taliban have borne little fruit, according to people who have been told about them. But they have helped undermine the remaining confidence between the United States and Mr. Karzai, making the already messy endgame of the Afghan conflict even more volatile.”

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

A small memorial lined a road near Sandy Hook Elementary School about a month after the Dec. 14, 2012, shootings in Newtown, Conn.

Families Of Newtown Massacre Victims Reach $1.5 Million Settlement

The families of 16 victims sued the estate of shooter Adam Lanza’s mother and will receive nearly $94,000 apiece under the deal. The settlement still needs a judge’s approval.


A product image provided by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals shows Spritam 750 mg, foreground, and 1,000 mg tablets. The 3-D-printed pills have been approved by the FDA.

Your Pill Is Printing: FDA Approves First 3-D-Printed Drug

The company that makes Spritam says the 3-D-printed pill dissolves quickly, even at the highest doses.


Fireworks explode behind a skiing sculpture to celebrate Beijing being chosen to host the 2022 Winter Olympics last week.

Did Beijing’s Olympics Song Lift Parts Of ‘Let It Go’?

Does a Chinese song cross the line between inspiration and imitation? Many commenters online are saying yes.


Officials are investigating the cause of a tent collapse that killed two people and injured more than a dozen others.

Circus Tent Collapse Kills 2 During Storm In New Hampshire

“We lost two lives — a father and a daughter — at an event that was supposed to be fun,” Gov. Maggie Hassan says. Dozens of people were sent to hospitals.


A boy paddles a makeshift raft in flooded Kalay township, in the Sagaing Region of Myanmar. Heavy monsoon rains have affected more than 210,000 people in 12 out of Myanmar's 14 states and regions since June.

Monsoon Flooding Kills Dozens In Myanmar, Prompting Calls For Help

More than 200,000 people have been displaced by floods and landslides, with at least 46 deaths reported.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments