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TIMELINE: The rocky road to Afghan peace talks

Here is a snapshot of efforts to start peace talks to end 12 years of war in Afghanistan

AFP , Thursday 20 Jun 2013
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2010

- January 22: Afghan President Hamid Karzai unveils an ambitious Western-funded plan to offer money and jobs to tempt Taliban fighters to lay down their arms.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates describes the Taliban as part of Afghanistan's "political fabric" but says any future role will depend on insurgents laying down their weapons.

- January 28: World powers back Karzai's plan at talks in London.

- September 4: Karzai announces that he has set up the High Peace Council to pursue peace talks with the Taliban. In October former president Burhanuddin Rabbani is elected the body's chairman.

- October 6: The Washington Post says the Taliban and the government have begun high-level talks on ending the war.

It says the talks are believed to involve representatives authorised by the Afghan Taliban leadership.

Karzai says secret negotiations had been going on "for some time". The Taliban denies talks are taking place.

- November 20: NATO agrees to end its combat mission in Afghanistan by 2014.

2011

- June 18: Karzai says the United States is holding talks with the Taliban, in the first official confirmation of such contacts.

- September 20: A Taliban suicide bomber assassinates Karzai's peace envoy Rabbani.

2012

- January 3: The Taliban say they have come to an "initial agreement" to set up an overseas political office, possibly in Qatar, in their first public gesture towards talks with the US.

One of their demands is a prisoner exchange involving Taliban inmates held at the US-run detention facility Guantanamo Bay.

They had always previously insisted they would not talk until all foreign troops had left Afghan soil.

- January 29: A former Taliban official says Taliban negotiators have begun holding preliminary talks with US officials in Qatar on plans for peace negotiations.

On March 15 the Taliban announce the suspension of US contacts.

- December 20: Representatives of Afghanistan's warring factions, including the Taliban, meet outside Paris for two days of talks.

2013

- January 29: Karzai accuses foreign countries of plotting against his nation's peace programme, saying all negotiations should take place under his administration.

- February 4: Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron in London, say they will work to reach a peace deal within six months.

June 18: The Taliban opens a political office in the Qatari capital Doha and officials announce US envoys will launch talks in days.

- June 19: The Afghan government lashes out at US efforts to broker peace with the Taliban, suspending security talks with Washington and threatening to boycott any future process in Qatar.

The United States says it has not scheduled talks with the Taliban.

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