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White House voices support for talks with Taliban

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says President Barack Obama supports recent attempts by the Afghan government to negotiate peace with Taliban insurgents.

But Press Secretary Robert Gibbs reiterated on Wednesday that Taliban leaders must first renounce the use of violence and their support for al-Qaida, and pledge to respect Afghan law.

However, Gibbs declined to discuss a Washington Post report that President Hamid Karzai's government has made contact with senior officials of the Afghan Taliban organization based in Pakistan, who represent its leader, Mohammad Omar.

Gibbs said Obama has long supported a reconciliation process, but it's up to Afghan leaders to decide whom to talk to.


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