Friday 23 February 2018

Obama talks to Karzai after attack

Afghan soldiers stand guard as smoke rises from the gate of the presidential palace in Kabul (AP)
Afghan soldiers stand guard as smoke rises from the gate of the presidential palace in Kabul (AP)

Barack Obama has spoken to Afghan President Hamid Karzai after the Taliban launched an attack outside Kabul's presidential palace, the White House said.

The two leaders spoke by video conference after the early-morning gun battle. The attack could complicate US efforts to get the Karzai government to sit down with the Taliban for peace talks.

The White House says President Obama and President Karzai discussed the reconciliation process and agreed that Afghanistan, not the US, must lead that process.

The leaders said they still support meetings between Afghanistan's High Peace Council and Taliban representatives at a political office the Taliban recently opened in Qatar.

They also discussed Nato's handover of security operations last week to Afghan forces and the need for fair elections in Afghanistan in 2014.

Press Association

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