Taliban set preconditions for formal peace talks

Taliban administrators have busy in periodic, discreet contacts with Afghan and U.S. officials for months but are reluctant to move to formal peace negotiations until the U.S. agrees to a schedule for the withdrawal of all foreign troops, according to a Pakistani cleverness official and members of a newly formed Afghan calm council.

The White House said Wednesday that President Barack Obama ropes attempts by the Afghan government to open calm talks with Taliban leaders, but still wants the rebellious to give up violence and their support of al-Qaida.

Though, press secretary Robert Gibbs said the United States was not taking part in any such talks. "This is about Afghanistan," he said. "It has to be done by the Afghans."

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