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    Some Europeans seeking secret Taliban talks

    KABUL (PAN): Some European countries tried to convince the Taliban into secret negotiations, a free media support organisation claimed on Monday.

    Although the Taliban rejected participation in the 2nd Bonn Conference, some European countries tried to convince them into holding peace talks, the Nai told a news conference.

    "Every nation wants to live in peace, but in Afghanistan, peace should not be achieved at the cost of freedom of expression," Siddiqullah Tawhidi said.

    He said holding secret talks with the Taliban could compromise the freedom of expression in Afghanistan.  "The situation can give militants the opportunity to ban media outlets, which can fight challenges without support."

    "The inclusion of militants and opponents of freedom of expression, women's and human rights in the government will create serious problems for media," he warned.

    The second Bonn Conference on Afghanistan's future, being attended by representatives from more than 115 countries and international organisations, was opened by President Hamid Karzai and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at 9am (German time).

    Global political, economic and military assistance to Afghanistan beyond 2014, security transition, strategic cooperation, regional cooperation and the reconciliation process are high on the agenda at the major meeting.

    frm/ma/mud