Panetta: Afghans Taking Reins On Reconciliation

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters Wednesday that Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s recent statement indicating three-way talks between the Taliban, the U.S. and Afghanistan shows that his country is taking a lead role in reintegrating Taliban forces into Afghan society.

“It’s always been important for us to make clear that reconciliation has to be Afghan led,” Panetta said in the Pentagon briefing room during an appearance alongside German Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière

The German official added, “These talks will be better the less we talk about them.”

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Karzai told them the secret talks were underway. The Taliban has since denied taking part in any negotiations.


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