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War in Afghanistan Breaking News: Defense Chief Hagel Expresses Regret Over Taliban Joke

Wochit 1:15 mins

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has expressed regret to an Indian-born college professor for jokingly asking, "you're not a member of the Taliban, are you?" seconds before the professor rose to ask a question. Could negotiations with the Taliban still be possible? An Afghan spokesman says President Hamid Karzai is willing to join peace talks with the Taliban if the U.S. follows through with promises he says were made by Secretary of State John Kerry in a phone call. The planned talks were thrown into disarray when Karzai canceled a planned delegation to the newly opened Taliban office in Qatar because he said the U.S. broke commitments that the office would not be seen as an embassy or government-in-exile. Afghan President Hamid Karzai is suspending talks with the U.S. to protest the American military's failure to reach out to the Taliban. The talks were meant to cover a security deal and which troops would remain in Afghanistan after 2014. Karzai wants one-on-one talks with the Taliban, but U.S. military officials are talking to the Taliban alone before letting the Karzai's administration in.

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