Karzai suspends talks with US
KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday said he has suspended talks with the US on the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) to protest the way the Americans are reaching out to the Taliban in efforts to find a political solution to the war.
Karzai said he has suspended the talks on what US troops will remain in the country after 2014 “in view of the contradiction between acts and the statements made by the United States of America in regard to the peace process."
Released by his office on Wednesday, a statement quoted the president as saying that he wanted one-on-one talks with the Taliban but they and the US announced they would begin talks together first, before the Afghan government was brought in.
Afghan and US officials have said that the fourth round of talks on the BSA would take place in Kabul soon. US officials have said the talks were in final stages.
The Taliban on Wednesday opened their office in Qatar, saying they want to improve their relations with the international community.
US officials have said US and Taliban officials were to meet in Doha for talks Thursday. No mention was made of Afghan officials being present at that meeting.
No one from the Afghan embassy was informed or invited to yesterday's opening. The Taliban said they would talk to "Afghans in due appropriate time."
In the past, Karzai has said Afghanistan cannot be sidelined during any peace talks. Last year, he asked the Afghan ambassador to Qatar to return home after the Taliban disclosed they would open the Doha office.
Hours before the Taliban opened their Doha office, Karzai said he wanted the talks to be moved to Afghanistan soon, a call supported by the US.
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