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Afghan Leaders Want War To Stop Before Talks -- Karzai

Afghan President Hamid Karzai
President Hamid Karzai says that Afghan leaders have told him that Saudi Arabia or Turkey would be a "preferable" location for an office for the Taliban.

On December 15, Karzai held talks with influential Afghans, including former mujahedin commanders, religious figures and top government officials, to discuss the future of peace talks with the Taliban.

Karzai's office said in a statement after the talks that the leaders believe the war and "violence against the people of Afghanistan" should stop before they start discussions.

One December 15, Afghanistan said that it was recalling its ambassador from Qatar for consultations, after media reports that a Taliban representative had agreed with officials from the United States and Qatar to set up an unofficial embassy in the Gulf state to facilitate talks.