Karzai warns against exploitation of Afghanistan
KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday said peace talks with the Taliban in Qatar must not become a tool for a third country's exploitation of Afghanistan, as he announced sending peace envoys to the Gulf state.
“We hope that our brothers the Taliban also understand that the process will move to our country soon,” Karzai told reporters during a joint press conference NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
The announcement came as Afghan forces took over security responsibility nationwide from NATO and US troops at a ceremony marking the launch of the final phase of the security transition.
Karzai said High Peace Council would travel to Qatar to discuss peace talks with the Taliban, who are expected to open an office in Qatar as early as Tuesday.
The president said three principles had been created to guide the talks --- that having begun in Qatar, they must then immediately be moved to Afghanistan, that they bring about an end to violence and that they must not become a tool for a third country's exploitation of Afghanistan.
Karzai said his government had no pre-conditions for the peace talks, but the parleys should end violence in Afghanistan.
He said his government had been opposing a Taliban political office outside the country because they feared foreign interference could sabotage the effort.
He said the Taliban were expected to open their office in Qatar on Tuesday or Wednesday, saying serious talks in this regard had taken place with the US and Pakistan because both counties were linked to the issue.
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