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President Hamid Karzai appeared to stiffen his resolve on Saturday not to sign a security pact with Washington, saying the United States should leave Afghanistan unless it could restart peace talks with the Taliban. “In exchange for this agreement, we want peace for the people of Afghanistan. Otherwise, it’s better for them to leave and our country will find its own way,” Karzai told a news conference. The president said pressing ahead with talks with the Taliban, in power from 1996-2001, was critical to ensure that Afghanistan was not left with a weak central government.

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