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    Afghan, HIA officials hold "beneficial" talks

    KABUL (PAN): A delegation of the Hezb-i-Islami of Afghanistan (HIA) led by former jihadi leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, held "beneficial" talks with Afghan government officials, an HIA member said on Tuesday.

    A high-level delegation of the group held talks with President Hamid Karzai and other high government officials at the Presidential Palace in the capital Kabul last week, head of the HIA political office in Europe, Qarib-ur-Rahman Saeed, told Pajhwok Afghan News. 

    He did not give further details about the dialogue, but called it "very important and beneficial". He said they were optimistic about the outcome of the talks.

    Meanwhile, Haroon Zarghun, an HIA spokesman, confirmed the HIA delegation's meeting with Karzai in a telephonic conversation with the BBC. He said the peace talks should be held with the US government, because the Afghan government has no authority, even it could not halt nighttime-raids on Afghans.

    There is a need for an inter-Afghan settlement, he said of the purpose of the visit.

    Aimal Faizi, a Presidential spokesman, also confirmed the talks, but stopped short of giving any details.