(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Talks aimed at ending the war in Afghanistan have begun between Afghan President Hamid Karzai's representatives, Pakistanis, and a former Taliban official. This marks the third day of such talks. The discussions have been described by officials as preliminary, but an important step towards a possible negotiated settlement.
The U.S. is not involved, although ABC News has learned that the Obama administration has shifted its position on talks and has recently been quietly encouraging discussions.
"There is a red line," according to a Western diplomat. The Taliban would have to stop military operations, work with the Afghan government and renounce Al Qaeda in order for a settlement to be reached.
Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio