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Hamid Karzai
Afghan President Hamid Karzai. — Photo AFP/File

KABUL: The Afghan Taliban and the United States have been holding talks in the Gulf Arab state of Qatar, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Sunday.

The Taliban suspended the talks one year ago, saying Washington was giving mixed signals on the nascent Afghan reconciliation process.

“Senior leaders of the Taliban and the Americans are engaged in talks in the Gulf state on a daily basis,” Karzai told a gathering to mark International Women's Day.

But the Taliban spokesman in Afghanistan, Zabihullah Mujahid, said no progress had been made since the talks were suspended.

“The Taliban strongly rejects Karzai's comments,” he said.

The Kabul government has been pushing hard to get the Taliban to the negotiating table before most US-led Nato combat troops withdraw by the end of 2014.

Afghan officials have not held direct talks with the militants, who were toppled in 2001 and have proven resilient after more than a decade of war with Western forces.

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