The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Groups to Obama: Let Karzai Hold Peace Talks


Martin is political director of Peace Action, one of several
groups urging President Obama -- who is meeting Afghanistan President
Hamid Karzai today in Washington -- to say "yes to President Karzai's
request for the U.S. to support peace talks now to end the war."


Naiman is policy director of Just Foreign Policy, another
of the groups involved in the effort. He said today: "President Obama
should heed the demand of the government and the people of Afghanistan
for real peace talks now. Every Western press [polling] report says the
overwhelming consensus of public opinion in Afghanistan supports peace
talks to end the war. U.S. officials say we have to 'bloody' the Taliban
first, but no one has explained how the deal we get after 18 more
months of war differs from the deal we get if we talk now."

The groups sent a letter to Obama and took out an ad in Wednesday's
Politico, which "uses the 'Sesame Street game' to show how the U.S. is
increasingly isolated in its opposition to peace talks now. 'Who's not
ready to talk to the Afghan Taliban?' the ad asks. Not President Karzai
nor Afghan parliamentarian Shukria Barakzai; not British Foreign
Secretary David Miliband nor UN Afghanistan chief Staffan de Mistura.
Only President Obama still opposes talks with the Afghan Taliban now."
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