Afghan president Hamid Karzai has been secretly engaging in peace talks with the Taliban without the consultation of America or its other Western allies, according to a New York Times report.
The Taliban reportedly initiated the contact in November, and Karzai entered talks in the hope of ending the ongoing conflict in his country. However, no agreement has been reached nor have negotiations for a peace agreement even begun.
Many Afghan officials were wary of the negotiations, worried that the Taliban was leading Karzai on in order to distract him from a coming security agreement with the United States. Their fears seemed to be confirmed as Karzai repeatedly refused to sign the long-term security agreement — which he had negotiated with the U.S. – in the past weeks, worsening his already cold relations with Washington. The agreement would assure the presence of American troops past 2014 as well as billions of dollars in aid.