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Afghanistan, Pakistan peace talks: deal within 6 months, say leaders

Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said they would work to reach a peace settlement within the next six months.

Afghan pakistan peace talksEnlarge
UK Prime Minister David Cameron hosts a trilateral meeting with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan (L) and President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan (R) at Chequers, the prime minister's country house in Ellesborough, UK, on Feb. 4, 2013. (David Parker - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Following talks at Chequers, the British prime minister’s country retreat in the UK, the presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan said they would work to reach a peace settlement within the next six months, the Associated Press reported.

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The meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari was the third in a series of trilateral meetings organized by UK Prime Minister David Cameron to promote peace in the region as international troops prepare to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014, the AP reported.

The three leaders invited the Taliban to join their peace talks, the Guardian reported.

In a statement, Cameron, Karzai and Zadari said they supported the opening of an office in Doha “for the purpose of negotiations between the Taliban and the High Peace Council of Afghanistan as part of an Afghan led peace process," the AP reported.

"Now is the time for everyone to participate in a peaceful, political process in Afghanistan," Cameron said, according to the Guardian.

Karzai and Zardari said they would improve coordination of Taliban detainee releases from Pakistani custody as part of the peace process, the Guardian reported.

Karzai said he hoped that Afghanistan’s relationship with Pakistan could become "very close, brotherly and good neighborly,” the Guardian reported.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/afghanistan/130204/afghanistan-pakistan-peace-talks-deal-within-6