The negotiations have long been supported by former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the British and Pakistani governments, but rejected by the US government. Karzai proposed peace talks with the Taliban in September 2007, but they were quickly rejected by the insurgent group, citing the presence of foreign troops.  Until 2009, Afghanistan largely agreed on the need to end the war, but how it was to proceed was an important issue for the candidates in the 2009 Afghan presidential election who re-elected Karzai. In a televised speech after his election, Karzai called on “our Taliban brothers to return home and embrace their country” and presented plans for the launch of a Loya Jirga. The efforts have been undermined by the increase in US troops in the country by the Obama administration.  At a london conference in January 2010, Karzai reaffirmed his intention to address the Taliban to lay down his arms.  US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cautiously supported the proposal.  In the United States Institute of Peace in May 2010, Karzai said that a “peace process” with the Taliban and other militants “who are not part of al-Qaeda or other terrorist networks or ideology against us.” As part of the negotiations between the U.S. and the Taliban, U.S. officials rejected the U.S. role in guaranteeing the rights of Afghan women and proposed that this be left to Afghans.
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