KABUL — Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Saturday that he personally held peace talks recently with the insurgent faction Hizb-i-Islami, appearing to assert his own role in a US-led bid for negotiations to end the country’s decade-long war.

Karzai made the announcement hours before he met with US special representative Marc Grossman to discuss progress and plans for bringing the Taliban insurgency into formal talks for the first time. “Recently, we met with a delegation from Hizb-i-Islami ... and had negotiations,” Karzai told a meeting of the Afghan parliament. “We are hopeful that these negotiations for peace continue and we will have good results,” he added.

Karzai’s statement was a reminder that any negotiations to end Afghanistan’s war will be more complex than just talking to the Taliban’s Pakistan-based leadership, headed by Mullah Omar. The two other main insurgent factions in the country have their own leaders and agendas. Hizb-i-Islami is a radical militia that controls territory in Afghanistan’s northeast. Its leader, powerful warlord Gulbadin Hekmatyar, is a former US ally now listed as a terrorist by Washington.

Karzai has met before with representatives of Hekmatyar, whose political allies hold seats in the Afghan parliament and Cabinet, but Saturday’s public announcement seemed intended to bolster Karzai’s insistence on inclusion in the US-led peace process.

“It should be mentioned that the Afghan nation is the owner of the peace process and negotiations,” Karzai said. “No foreign country or organisation can prevent [Afghans] from exercising this right.”