- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has been engaged in behind-closed-door talks with members of the Taliban in an effort to forge a peace deal, The New York Times reported.

The meetings may shed light on why Mr. Karzai and the United States haven’t reached a resolution on a security agreement to keep American troops in Afghanistan past the 2014 deadline, The Hill reported. Mr. Karzai has put off any such deal until his country elects a new president.

But Mr. Karzai has heightened tensions further with the United States in recent weeks, after releasing dozens of imprisoned Taliban members and saying there’s not enough evidence to keep them behind bars. The United States, meanwhile, insists the jailed militants pose a serious threat to both U.S. troops and Afghanistan police forces.

The specifics of Mr. Karzai’s behind-the-scenes talks with the Taliban aren’t known, The Times reported. Meanwhile, President Obama is due to discuss the fate of the American mission in Afghanistan with senior military heads on Tuesday, The Hill said.