Karzai announces second wave of Afghan transition


The second wave of transition from NATO to local control in Afghanistan will include six provinces, seven cities and dozens of districts, a statement from President Hamid Karzai’s office said Sunday.
The provinces being handed over in their entirety including Balkh in the north. The first phase of transition started in July, part of a process which should see all foreign combat troops leave by the end of 2014.
Meanwhile, Germany’s foreign and defence ministers called Sunday for the Taliban to be included in Afghanistan peace talks, ahead of a major international conference for the war-ravaged country next month.
Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that negotiations with the Islamist militant group was the only realistic option for lasting peace.