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Second Afghan peace meeting in Maldives: Govt

Maldives hosted a similar peace meeting in Jan, ahead of London conference.

Colombo: Afghan government envoys and Taliban representatives will hold a second meeting at a holiday resort in the Maldives later Thursday, a spokesman for the President of the Indian Ocean nation said.

Envoys for Afghan President Hamid Karzai were due to meet with several members closely connected to the Taliban to discuss national reconciliation, Maldivian President Mohammed Nasheed`s office said.

Nasheed`s press secretary Mohamed Zuhair said his government is not involved with the discussions.

"Afghanistan`s stability affects the peace and security of our region. The government of Maldives supports efforts to bring a resolution to the conflict in Afghanistan," Zuhair said.

He said there was no legal impediment for the men linked to the Taliban to enter the Maldives as they had valid passports and their names were not on United Nations or international travel blacklists.

"Maldivian security and intelligence agencies have been fully informed of the talks," Zuhair said, without giving further details.

The Maldives hosted a similar peace meeting in January ahead of the London conference of world powers to discuss Afghanistan.

During the London conference, global leaders agreed that Afghanistan should take increasing control for its own security from the end of this year and backed Karzai`s plan to reward moderate Taliban who disarm.

The key plank of Karzai`s proposals, welcomed by the London conference, was an internationally-backed fund to persuade moderate Taliban fighters to lay down their weapons in return for jobs.

However, Taliban described the conference as a waste of time.

Afghanistan accuses neighbouring Pakistan of sheltering Taliban and al Qaeda militants who have been fighting Karzai`s government and attacking the international forces that support it.

Bureau Report

From Zee News

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