US confirms three-way talks with Taliban

US confirms three-way talks with Taliban

The US has confirmed to have participated in three-way talks with the Afghan government and Taliban.

According to White House spokesman Jay Carney, the US side "supported an Afghan-led process of reconciliation," and "we are obviously part of this process that is Afghan-led".

Speaking to reporters on board the Air Force One, Carney said: "Almost all insurgencies come to an end through a political settlement. We believe that an end to the conflict in Afghanistan will come when there is a reconciliation."

Carney also said the US side insist any Taliban who wants to participate in the process "would have to renounce Al-Qaeda, lay down their arms, renounce violence, and pledge allegiance to the Afghan constitution, and its requirement that the rights of minorities and women are respected".

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, in an interview published Thursday by The Wall Street Journal, said talks among the US, the Afghan government and the Taliban had taken place in the last month.

However, a Taliban spokesman denied that such three-way talks had taken place.

On the same day, Defence Secretary Leon Panetta also said Karzai's statement confirms that "Afghanistan is now very much involved" in efforts to find a political settlement with the Taliban.