Hamid Karzai
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Karzai Condemns U.S. 'Desecration' of Insurgent Bodies

Afghan President Hamid Karzai Thursday strongly condemned a video appearing to show U.S. soldiers "desecrating" the corpses of slain insurgents by urinating on them.

"The government of Afghanistan is deeply disturbed by a video that shows American soldiers desecrating dead bodies of three Afghans," said a statement from the president's office.

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Taliban Back Peace Talks but Warn No Surrender from Jihad

Afghanistan's Taliban insurgents warned Thursday that their support of peace talks did not mean they had given up fighting or accepted the constitution of the "stooge" government in Kabul.

The comments came as the United States announced that it would send a senior official to meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai next week to see whether he agrees to a resumption of preliminary talks with the Taliban.

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Taliban Want U.S. Prisoners Sent to Qatar

Afghanistan's Taliban insurgents have demanded in negotiations with the U.S. that prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay be transferred to Qatar, an Afghan government spokesman said Friday.

But President Hamid Karzai's government objects strongly to the move and wants the prisoners sent directly to Afghanistan, presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi told Agence France Presse.

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Eight NATO Troops Killed in Afghanistan Blasts

Eight NATO soldiers have been killed in a series of bomb attacks in southern Afghanistan, the military said Friday.

Three died on Thursday, another lost his life in a blast on Friday and four more were killed in second attack later the same day.

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Karzai Orders Transfer of U.S. Prison to Afghan Control

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday ordered the transfer of the U.S. military prison at Bagram to Afghan control within a month, citing reports of human rights violations there.

Karzai issued the order after receiving a report detailing "many cases of violations of Afghan Constitution and other applicable laws of the country, the relevant international conventions and human rights," his office said.

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U.S. Undecided on Inmates Release for Taliban Talks

The United States said Wednesday it has taken no decision to release prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay in order to boost negotiations aimed at ending the 10-year war with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

But State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Washington is "prepared to support" a proposed overseas Taliban office that backs an Afghan-led reconciliation process provided it meets U.S. and Afghan standards.

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Taliban Confirm 'Initial' Deal to Open Office Overseas, Possibly in Qatar

The Taliban announced on Tuesday that they had come to an "initial agreement" to open their first political overseas office, possibly in Qatar, as part of peace talks with the United States.

In a statement on their purported website "Voice of Jihad,” the Islamists said they had held "preliminary talks with relevant sides including Qatar" to open an office outside Afghanistan, without confirming where it would be.

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French Defense Minister Visits Afghanistan

French defense Minister Gerard Longuet held talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai Saturday on a two-day visit to Afghanistan to meet troops over the New Year.

Longuet touched down in Kabul two days after the death of two French Foreign Legion soldiers who were shot dead by a man wearing an Afghan army uniform in eastern Kapisa province.

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Karzai Welcomes U.S. Remarks on Taliban

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday welcomed remarks from the Obama administration saying that Taliban insurgents were not America's enemies.

Earlier this month, Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview with Newsweek magazine that the Islamist militants did not represent a threat to U.S. interests unless they continued to shelter al-Qaida.

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3 NATO Troops Killed in East Afghan Bombing

A roadside bomb attack killed three NATO troops in eastern Afghanistan, one of the deadliest flashpoints in the 10-year war against Taliban insurgents, the military said Wednesday.

NATO's US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) did not release the nationalities of the troops or give further details of the incident, which happened on Tuesday.

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