Karzai Backs Out of Taliban, US Peace Talks

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Hours after announcing the U.S.-Taliban talks, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai said he wanted no part in it, insisting that any discussions with Taliban insurgents must be Afghan-led and not U.S-led.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama said talks with the Taliban are an important step towards reconciliation and future peace in Afghanistan.

"Although it's a very early step, we anticipate there will be a lot of bumps in the road," he said.

The Unites States wants the Taliban to renounce ties with al Qaeda, back the Afghan constitution, and help protect women and minority groups.

In exchange, the Taliban wants the U.S. to release prisoners from Guantanamo Bay and all foreign forces out of Afghanistan.

The president said they don't expect the process to be easy, "but we must pursue it."

But talks of negotiations didn't stop the Taliban from killing four U.S. soldiers at an air base outside Kabul Tuesday. Several more were injured in the attack.

The Taliban is an Islamic radical group that ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. It believes in practicing a strict form of Islam where women are veiled, men grow their beards, and those caught stealing or committing adultery must be publicly executed or have their hands amputated.

In spite of the recent slew of Taliban attacks, after nearly 12 years of leading the charge, American forces are now taking a backseat in Afghanistan.

Afghan soldiers and police took official control of protecting their own country this week as the United States aims to withdraw all its forces by next year.

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