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U.S. Envoy to Hold Talks With Karzai on Taliban Peace Process

Jan. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Marc Grossman, the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, arrived in Kabul to hold talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on preliminary peace negotiations with the Taliban.

“Mr. Grossman will hold talks with President Karzai this afternoon on the Taliban reconciliation and peace process, the U.S. long-term partnership and a few other Afghan-U.S. related issues,” Eimal Faizi, Karzai’s spokesman, said by phone. “Afghanistan wants the peace process with the Taliban to be led by Afghanistan, not by any other countries, including the U.S.”

The Taliban last month said it was ready to open a liaison office in Qatar to hold talks with the U.S. and its allies to end the decade-long war in Afghanistan.

Grossman’s visit to Kabul comes a day after an Afghan soldier fatally shot four French soldiers and wounded 17 others in Kapisa province in northeastern Afghanistan. France in response suspended operations with the Afghan army throughout the country.

“The United States stands ready to assist in any way we can an Afghan-led reconciliation process to find a peaceful end to this conflict,” Grossman said today in a statement released by the U.S. embassy in Kabul.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eltaf Najafizada in Kabul at enajafizada1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net

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