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June 20, 2011 1:11 am

US Admits Ongoing Negotiations With Taliban

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NYT – Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates acknowledged on Sunday that the United States had begun preliminary talks with members of the Taliban as part of an effort to end the war in Afghanistan.

Mr. Gates cautioned that the talks were in such early stages — having begun a few weeks ago — that officials were still uncertain the Taliban participants were genuine representatives of the Taliban leader Mullah Omar. He said the effort was being carried out by American diplomats but did not directly involve the secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton. And he said several other countries were participating, though he did not specify which ones.

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