Karzai sets up Taliban panel

2010-09-04 21:15

Kabul - Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he has formed a council to pursue peace talks with the Taliban.

A statement issued by Karzai's office on Saturday says the High Peace Council is a "significant step toward peace talks".

Karzai is pursuing reconciliation talks with insurgents willing to renounce violence, honour the Afghan constitution and sever ties with terrorist networks.

International leaders have welcomed establishment of the panel, which was approved in June at a national peace conference in Kabul.

Karzai's office says the council will consist of former members of the Taliban, jihadi leaders, top figures and women. Its members are to be announced next week.