Afghan president calls on Taliban to drop weapons

Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai speaks during a press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul on July 12, 2012. (AFP PHOTO/ Massoud HOSSAINI)

KABUL: Afghanistan's president is calling on the Taliban to relinquish their weapons, asking the militant group's leader to join the political process.

Hamid Karzai's appeal on Thursday was the latest in a series he has recently made. All past requests have been ignored by the insurgency - which refuses to engage the government directly.

Taliban leader Mullah Omar has been on the run since the U.S. invasion, and the group has been fighting the U.S.-led coalition and Afghan government for more than a decade. The Taliban have refused peace talks with Karzai, saying he is a puppet of the United States. Instead, they have held talks directly with American officials. They broke off talks earlier this year, saying the U.S. reneged on a promise to release Afghan prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.





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