Afghan president Hamid Karzai speaks during a joint press conference with Dutch Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende, unseen, at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009. After seven years in office, Afghan President Hamid Karzai's star is rapidly waning in Washington, with President Barack Obama saying Afghanistan's government is detached from the surrounding communities it is supposed to serve. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)
KABUL (AP) - A spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai says Karzai has met with representatives of a major insurgent group with links to the Taliban.
It's an idea that's gaining traction in Afghanistan – talking with the Taliban and other insurgent groups in an effort to find a path toward peace.
The efforts are taking place even as tens of thousands of U.S. and NATO reinforcements try to reverse the momentum of the insurgents.
The Afghan government is finalizing a plan aimed at luring low- and mid-level fighters off the battlefield, with the help of economic incentives.
The Karzai spokesman says the talks involved a delegation from a group led by former Prime Minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
The U.S. government declared him a “global terrorist” in 2003, saying he took part in and supported terror attacks committed by Al-Qaida and the Taliban.
There's no word on when the meeting took place, or what was discussed.
Meanwhile, NATO is reporting the deaths of two more service members today in separate explosions in southern Afghanistan.
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