Taleban: 'Ready for talks with government'

The Taleban said Monday it was ready for talks with the Afghan government, one day after President Hamid Karzai offered negotiations in a bid to end a insurgency.

Taleban: 'Ready for talks with government'
The Taleban said Monday it was ready for talks with the Afghan government, one day after President Hamid Karzai offered negotiations in a bid to end a insurgency.

"For the sake of national interests ... we are fully ready for talks with the government," senior Taleban spokesman Yousuf Ahmadi told AFP.

The spokesman said the Taleban could hold talks with the Afghan government as it did with South Korean officials over 21 hostages who were freed after several meetings.

"As we did hold negotiations with the South Korean government, we can hold talks at an even higher level with the government," he said by telephone from an undisclosed location.

Karzai has regularly offered talks with the Taleban, which was in government between 1996 and 2001, and there have been rumours that contact has already been made.

The president denied Monday that "formal negotiations" were under way with the Taliban but said he was ready to start such dialogue if he could find the "address for the Taleban."

Ahmadi responded: "If they want our address — we're among the people. If they're honest for talks, we're ready for it."

AFP
Last Mod: 10 Eylül 2007, 15:39
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