By Christopher Bodeen
The Associated Press - October 31, 2014
BEIJING -- Afghanistan's new president invited the Taliban to join in a peace process backed by the international community on Friday, an unusual direct reference to the insurgents who have stepped up attacks in an attempt to bring down his month-old government. Speaking at a conference on Afghan peace and reconstruction in Beijing, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai made no specific proposals and indicated government forces wouldn't back away from the fight. However, his mention of the Taliban by name marked a departure from his usual public references to them as "political opponents." "Peace is our highest priority. We invite the political opposition, particularly the Taliban, to join and enter Afghan dialogue, and ask all of our international partners to support an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process," Ghani Ahmadzai said.