Karzai urged to talk to Taliban

An Afghan national peace conference yesterday urged the government to take formal steps towards negotiating with insurgents, boosting President Hamid Karzai's plans to open talks with the Taliban.

The conference said militants who joined the peace process should be removed from a UN blacklist that imposes travel and financial restrictions on some 137 people associated with the Taliban. It also said that insurgents who want to take part must cut their ties with foreign terrorist groups.

No active members of the Taliban or other militant groups took part.