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`Afghan peace talks should be held in Kabul`

Last Updated: Thursday, December 13, 2012 - 16:15

Islamabad: Peace talks between the Taliban and Afghan authorities should be held in Kabul and not on foreign soil, Pakistan`s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has said in a statement that came just days ahead of a meeting in Paris on Afghanistan`s future.

Khar also told France`s Le Monde daily that Islamabad did not wish to control the Afghan peace process.

"It`s up to the Afghans to choose which method they think is good. If they want to go to Washington, they can. But we think that the best solution is to hold the talks on Afghan soil, in Kabul. The talks and negotiations cannot be held in Paris or in Berlin," The Dawn quoted Khar, as saying.

The Taliban are attending talks in Paris on December 19 and 20 on Afghanistan`s future, where officials from President Hamid Karzai`s government will be present. It is being organised by a French think-tank. Khar said the meeting was critical to how things would pan out in the run-up to NATO troops` 2014 pull-out and after.
"The national reconciliation between the Taliban and the government, as well as the capability of the Afghan forces to control their territory, are two key points. Otherwise, the hypothesis of civil war is not ruled out," she said. The Taliban have officially taken the line that they will not negotiate with the Kabul government, which they consider a puppet of the US.


First Published: Thursday, December 13, 2012 - 16:15

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