Karzai, US embassy meet militant delegation
Kabul: A delegation from Hezb-i-Islami, one
of Afghanistan`s militant groups, has met with President Hamid
Karzai and US embassy officials in Kabul, officials said
Led by former Afghan prime minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar,
Hezb-i-Islami is the second largest militant group after the
Taliban waging a 10-year insurgency against the Kabul
administration and its NATO allies.
A delegation representing the group travelled to Kabul
and met with Karzai on Sunday "in a good atmosphere, and the
results were good", Karzai`s spokesman Aimal Faizi said,
refusing to give further details.
The comments follow a web statement by the Taliban
confirming that they were in talks to open a liaison office
abroad, possibly in Qatar, in a move towards peace talks with
the United States.
A palace official speaking under condition of
anonymity said that Hekmatyar`s delegation included
Ghairat Baheer, one of his main lieutenants.
"They are in Kabul. They met with President Karzai on
Sunday and later with US embassy officials. The meetings were
about peace talks," the official said.
Afghanistan has been gripped in war since the United
States invaded the country to topple the Taliban for
sheltering al Qaeda leaders in 2001.
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