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Afghan MP: US Secret Talks with Taliban Undermining Peace Process

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, July 3 (ICANA) – A member of the Afghan parliament said that the United States' secret talks with the Taliban have isolated Afghanistan's High Council for Peace and undermined the peace process in the war-torn country.
Sunday, July 03, 2011 9:50:01 PM
Afghan MP: US Secret Talks with Taliban Undermining Peace Process

Speaking to FNA on the functioning of the High Council for Peace since its establishment last year, Homeira Ayyobi said that the council had a weak record in establishing peace in the country.

Regarding the root causes of the council's failure, Ayyobi underscored that the US, Britain and Germany's secret talks with the Taliban have pushed the council into the margin.

"The council is not able to bring changes by itself," the lawmaker said, underlining that other actors should make coordination and have cooperation with the Afghan peace council.

"Due to the very same reason, other countries have taken action and started peace talks with the Taliban," she noted.

Meantime, Ayyobi cautioned that the US and other western states are trying to restore peace to the country in a bid to attain their own national interests.

"The United States is striving to restore peace to this country in a bid to establish its permanent bases in Afghanistan and pursue its economic and regional interest as well," the legislator noted.

While the US insisted that the conversations with the Taliban were at a "very, very preliminary" stage, media reports said that the first face-to-face meeting between Washington and Taliban officials occurred in Germany in November of last year, mediated by German and Qatari officials. A second round occurred in Doha in February, and a third meeting in Germany was held in May.

In an effort to find a political solution to the war, the Afghan government last year set up a 70-member peace council, formalizing efforts already underway to reconcile with top Taliban leaders and lure insurgent foot soldiers out of the battlefield.

President Hamid Karzai has long said that he will talk to insurgents who renounce violence, sever ties with terrorists and embrace the Afghan Constitution.

Publicly, the Taliban have responded, saying they won't negotiate until foreign troops leave the country, yet there are many indications that backdoor discussions have occurred with the US.

With the war entering its 10th year, the insurgency is at its bloodiest since 2001, despite the presence of 150,000 foreign troops in the war-torn country.

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