Hamid Karzai
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Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan to 'Jointly Combat Terrorism'

The presidents of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan agreed on Saturday to join forces in combating terrorism, in a joint statement issued after three-way talks in Tehran.

"All sides stressed their commitment to efforts aimed at eliminating extremism, militancy, terrorism, as well as rejecting foreign interference, which is in blatant opposition to the spirit of Islam, the peaceful cultural traditions of the region and its peoples' interests," the statement said.

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Karzai Says 'Terrorism' on Increase in Afghanistan, Region

Afghan President Hamid Karzai told a counter terrorism summit in Tehran on Saturday that despite his government's efforts, militancy was on the rise in both his country and the region.

"Unfortunately, despite all the achievements in the fields of education, infrastructure and reconstruction, not only has Afghanistan not yet achieved peace and security, but terrorism is expanding and threatening more than ever Afghanistan and the region," he told the opening session.

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Karzai Hails U.S. Pullout but Taliban to Fight on

Afghanistan's Taliban Thursday dismissed news of U.S. troop withdrawals as mere symbolism, vowing to fight on, but President Hamid Karzai said the move hastened his nation's ability to fend for itself.

Ordinary Afghans seemed split over U.S. President Barack Obama's announcement, after a decade of war, to pull tens of thousands of troops out of Afghanistan and concentrate on "nation-building" in America instead.

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Gates Says U.S. Conducting Preliminary Talks with Taliban

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday that the U.S. State Department, in tandem with other countries, has been conducting preliminary "outreach" talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

"I think there's been outreach on the part of a number of countries, including the United States," Gates told CNN.

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Eight NATO Troops Die in One Day in Afghanistan

Eight foreign soldiers died in one day in Afghanistan, officials said Sunday, including four in a single incident believed to have been a vehicle accident.

The four died Saturday of "non-battle related injuries" in southern Afghanistan, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement.

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U.N. Splits Qaida and Taliban on Sanctions List

The U.N. Security Council has split the international sanctions regime for the Taliban and al-Qaida to encourage the Taliban to join reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan.

The council unanimously passed two resolutions on Friday, setting up one new blacklist of individuals and organizations accused of links to al-Qaida and a second for those linked to the Taliban militia.

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Karzai: U.S. Holding Talks with Taliban

The United States is holding talks with the Taliban, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Saturday, in what is thought to be the first official confirmation of such contacts.

"Talks with the Taliban have started... the talks are going on well," Karzai said, addressing a conference in Kabul.

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U.N. to Ease Taliban Sanctions to Boost Reconciliation

The U.N. Security Council will consider Friday removing about 20 former senior Taliban commanders from an international sanctions list to boost reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan, diplomats said.

In another sign that the international coalition in Afghanistan wants a negotiated peace, the council will also divide the U.N. sanctions list between al-Qaida and the Taliban to draw a distinction between them.

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Afghan Vice President, Interior Minister Escape Rocket Attack

The Taliban targeted top government officials in Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing seven people in a suicide car bombing and firing rockets at the vice president and interior minister, who escaped unhurt.

Both attacks struck central Afghanistan, not far from the heavily secured capital Kabul, and were claimed by the militia leading a nearly 10-year insurgency against U.S.-led NATO troops and the Afghan government.

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Karzai Heads to Kazakhstan for Regional Summit

Afghan President Hamid Karzai left Kabul on Tuesday for Kazakhstan to deliver a speech at a summit of Central Asian nations and hold talks with other regional powers, his office said.

He will present the views of Afghanistan on "regional cooperation, the war against terrorism, counter-narcotics and economic cooperation", it said in a statement.

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