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Foreign intelligence hindering peace talks: Afghan minister

Last Updated: Friday, February 14, 2014 - 19:46

Ankara: Afghan Foreign Minister Ahmed Osmani has said that foreign intelligence agencies are disrupting peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

"If the foreign intelligence (services) cut ties with the Taliban during the process, negotiations can start," Osmani said in an interview to the Turkish Press.

Osmani is currently in Turkey along with Afghan President Hamid Karzai for a trilateral summit between Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey.

If these foreign elements do not support the Taliban, they could not survive, he said.

"Pakistan must bring the Taliban to the negotiating table," he was quoted as saying.

The minister also expressed willingness to launch talks with the Taliban.

"We (the Afghan government) first want to begin peace negotiations with the Taliban, then we will sign the security pact with the US," Osmani said.

The US and Afghanistan have spent months negotiating a Bilateral Security Agreement that would allow NATO troops to stay after 2014.

The planned withdrawal of NATO led-forces has prompted concerns about a possible rise in the number of Taliban attacks.
Osmani said 98 percent of the Afghan people want the security agreement to be signed. However, negotiating a peace agreement with the Taliban would be a more concrete step before signing the security pact.

IANS
First Published: Friday, February 14, 2014 - 19:46
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