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Afghan delegates support talks with Taliban

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Delegates to an Afghan peace conference appear to be lining up solidly behind negotiations with the Taliban to try to end years of war.

Speakers at the conference, or peace jirga, raised expectations that it would endorse President Hamid Karzai's broadly stated plans. The 1,500 delegates are to release a joint statement later today, wrapping up three days of deliberations.

Such an endorsement would deliver Karzai, increasingly unpopular due to government corruption and his fraud-marred re-election last year, a political boost.

But the Taliban did not take part in the jirga, dismissing it as a phony bid for peace and sending suicide attackers in a failed attempt to disrupt it. Taliban leaders insist there will be no talks with the government until U.S.-led foreign troops have left the country.


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