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Karzai Says No Formal Peace Process With Taliban

President Hamid Karzai offered the possibility of talks with militants who are not part of any terrorist group.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said there are no formal peace talks between his government and the Taliban, but admitted to "individual contacts" with the hard-line Islamic group.

In an interview aired today on ABC News, Karzai said there was a "clear" course toward possible future peace talks with militants who are not part of Al-Qaeda and any other terrorist network.

The president also said Afghan women will have "solid and meaningful" representation in any formal talks so their political, social, and economic gains will not only be protected but expanded.

Karzai, who last week decreed that foreign security contractors must disband in the next four months, said they such companies were obstructing the development of Afghan police and security forces.

He also said these contractors were in contact with "Mafia-like groups and perhaps also funding militants and insurgents and terrorists through those funds."

compiled from agency reports