Afghan opposition says it's been talking to Taliban

An opposition group says its leaders, including a former president, have been meeting with the Taliban and other anti-government groups in hopes of negotiating an end to rising war in Afghanistan.

Afghan opposition says it's been talking to Taliban
The contacts have taken place between leaders of the opposition National Front and "high level" leaders during the last few months, party spokesman Sayyid Agha Hussain Fazel Sancharaki said in an interview Sunday.

He said among those at the meetings were former President Burhanuddin Rabbani, now a member of parliament, and Mohammad Qasim Fahim, who is President Hamid Karzai's security adviser and a powerful northern strongman.

Rabbani said Afghanistan's six-year war must be solved through talks, echoing a view held by many in the country.

"There's no doubt that some inside the Taliban are not willing to negotiate, but there are some Taliban who are interested in solving problems through talks," Rabbani, Afghanistan's president from 1992-96, said in an interview.

"We in the National Front and I myself believe the solution for the political process in Afghanistan will happen through negotiations," he said.

Support for talks to end US-Afghan conflict have gained steam over the last year. President Hamid Karzai said for the first time in April 2007 that he had met with Taliban members in attempts to negotiate peace.

Rabbani said opposition leaders will soon discuss and possibly select a formal negotiating team and that Taliban fighters, in their talks with Karzai, have also proposed sending a formal team for talks with the government.

The behind-the-scenes maneuverings come just as the United States is pouring more troops into the country. Some 32,000 U.S. forces are in Afghanistan, the most since the 2001 invasion.

Last Mod: 16 Nisan 2008, 16:01
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