Afghanistan welcomes Obama’s Taliban initiative

US forces in Afghanistan can negotiate peace and reconciliation with some elements of the Taliban. That's Barack Obama's hope, as expressed in an interview with the New York Times.

The world's press has given a guarded reaction to Obama's pledge.

The Sunday Times reported that the US president was confirming what more and more American and British commanders have been saying for months – that a military victory is now beyond reach.

Meanwhile the Washington Post praised Obama's shift in policy from the Bush administration saying that Obama has made generally sound decisions on Afghanistan.

The Afghan president Hamid Karzai has welcomed Obama's statement.

“The great news is the call of the American president, Mr Obama, to identify moderate elements of the Taliban and encourage them to reconcile with the Afghan government. This has been the stand of the Afghan government and we support this,” Karzai declared.