New York (Agencies): US has opened direct secret discussions with senior Taliban leaders, a media report said here, as secretary of state Hillary Clinton declared that only a political solution could end the crisis in Afghanistan.

"The administration of President Barack Obama has entered into direct secret talks with Taliban officials," stated US media reports.

In a column, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Steve Coll said the talks were an effort by the Obama administration "to assess which leader in Taliban might be willing to engage in former Afghan peace negotiations and under what conditions".

Clinton speaking at the Asia Society remarked that the surge in US troops in Afghanistan was part of a strategy to weaken Taliban and split it away from al Qaeda.

She stated the turned leaders of the Taliban who will be asked to abandon violence and negotiations opened with them for a political solution in Afghanistan. The Secretary of State said the Taliban faced a choice in 2001 when the US toppled their hardline Islamic regime for hosting al Qaeda, responsible for horrific September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

"Today, the escalating pressure of our military is sharpening a similar decision for Taliban: break ties with al-Qaida, renounce violence, abide by Afghan constitution and you can rejoin society," she added.

She cautioned that if Taliban refused the choice they will continue to face the consequences of being tied to al Qaeda and remain enemy of the international community.

"They cannot wait us out. They cannot defeat us and they cannot escape this choice," she commented.