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Obama, Karzai Committed To Peace Talks

An Afghan security troop stands guard as an ambulance arrive near the entrance gate of the Presidential Palace in Kabul after the Taliban attack on June 25.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai have reaffirmed their commitment to reconciliation talks with the Taliban.

The two leaders spoke during a video conference hours after the Taliban launched an attack near the Presidential Palace in Kabul.

Three security guards and at least four gunmen were killed in the June 25 attack.

The White House says both leaders agreed talks with the Taliban were the best way to end the violence in Afghanistan.

According to the White House, Karzai and Obama also agreed that talks between the two sides should take place at the Taliban office opened last week in Qatar.

ALSO READ: Taliban Political Office Raises Alarm Bells In Kabul

Karzai had objected to the use at the compound of the Taliban's old flag and other symbols from the time the militant group ruled Afghanistan. As a result, Karzai had threatened to boycott talks with the Taliban.

The White House said Obama and Karzai also discussed NATO's handover of security operations last week to Afghan forces and the need for fair elections in Afghanistan in 2014.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters

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