Ex-Afghan Spy Chief Oppose Paris Conference on Afghanistan
By Sayed Jawad - Thu Dec 20 2012, 8:20 pm
Amrullah Saleh who is one of the main political opposition of the Afghan government in an exclusive interview with VOA opposed the Paris conference.
He said the Paris Conference on Afghanistan reflects the defeat of the Afghan government and political success of the Taliban group.
Afghan government officials met with representatives of the Taliban and another rebel group at an undisclosed venue near Paris on Thursday for two days of secretive talks aimed at ending the conflict in Afghanistan, French foreign ministry said following a statement.
“This conference is not a negotiating meeting, but a framework for dialogue between all parts of Afghan society about Afghanistan (outlook) in 2020,” the foreign ministry said.
“In fact, France considers that it belongs to the Afghans, and them alone, to lead the process of reconciliation with the support of the United Nations,” it added.
About 20 representatives from President Hamid Karzai’s government, the Taliban, the political opposition and the Islamist Hezb-i-Islami militant group were due to begin tentative talks after 11 years of war.
The meeting comes as France is pulling its last combat troops from Afghanistan – well ahead of NATO’s 2014 target date for withdrawal.
With much of the country still prey to fighting, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has stepped up attempts to persuade the Taliban to end the violence and join the political reconciliation. The last Taliban “trust-building” talks, hosted by Qatar in March, failed to produce results.