Afghan government to shun U.S. talks with Taliban

by
June 20, 2013

KABUL | Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Wednesday his government would not join U.S. peace talks with the Taliban and halted negotiations with Washington on a troop pact, underscoring the fragile nature of hopes for a negotiated peace in Afghanistan.

The United States and the Taliban have said officials from both sides will meet in Doha, the capital of Qatar, on Thursday, in a step forward for a stuttering peace process after 12 years `,of bloody and costly war between U.S.-led forces and the insurgents.

But Afghan officials, angered by the opening of a Taliban political office in Doha on Tuesday, said the United States had violated assurances it would not give official status to the insurgents.

“As long as the peace process is not Afghan-led, the High Peace Council will not participate in the talks in Qatar,” Karzai said in a statement, referring to a body he set up in 2010 to seek a negotiated peace with the Taliban.

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