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Rassoul says no to outside interference in peace talks

Rassoul says no to outside interference in peace talks

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On
Dec 18, 2011 - 20:56

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Foreign Minister Zalmay Rassoul on Sunday said the peace talks could only be a success if they were Afghan-led without any interference from an outside country.

Speaking at a news conference in Kabul, Rassoul asked foreign allies of the Afghan government not to contact the Talibaninfo-icon without the government's consent.

He also said opening a political office by the Taliban in absence of an agreement with the government could not make the talks to succeed.

The foreign minister said peace process should be completed in Afghanistaninfo-icon and if not possible, it should be held in an Islamic country like Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

To a question, Rassoul said the proposed Taliban office did not mean their political representation, but to serve as an address for peace talks.

"Our fundamental condition is that the process should be Afghan led, if other countries want to help, they should act in accordance with demands of Afghans and should not make irresponsible contacts with the rebels," he said.

He said any outside interference in the peace process would not be in Afghanistan's favor. Asked about accepting the possible opening of the Taliban's office in Doha, he said: "We have recalled our envoy from Qatar to discuss with him the issue and brief him on our policy."

On Thursday, former jihadi leaders and religious scholars who met President Hamid Karzai said the Taliban's office should be established inside Afghanistan and if Afghanistan's security condition remained unfavorable, the office should be set up in Saudi Arabia or Turkey.

frm/ma

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