Poll: Majority of Afghans Back Talks with Taliban

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A new poll shows an overwhelming majority of Afghans support their government negotiating with the Taliban.

The Asia Foundation found that 83 percent of Afghan adults support their country's efforts to hold peace talks with armed insurgents.

Eighty-one percent also support providing Taliban soldiers with assistance, jobs and housing to lure them off the battlefield.

Support for a peace process is highest in areas where fighting is the most intense, with 89 percent of Afghans in the east and 85 percent in the southeast and northwest backing reconciliation talks, the survey said.

The poll also ranked insecurity as the top concern among citizens, followed by unemployment and corruption.

"Respondents were asked whether they think corruption is a major problem, a minor problem or no problem at all in their daily life, their neighborhood, their local authorities, their provincial government and in Afghanistan as a whole," the report said. "The survey shows that the majority of Afghans think that corruption is a major problem in all facets of life and at all levels of government."

More than 6,400 adults were polled in June and July in all 34 provinces, excluding some dangerous areas. The survey, conducted with financial backing from the U.S. Agency for International Development, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

The San Francisco-based Asia Foundation is a nonprofit organization working for a peaceful and prosperous Asia-Pacific region.

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