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Afghan president to seek Pakistan's help with Taliban talks

Other News Materials 26 August 2013 11:06
Afghan President Hamid Karzai was due in Islamabad Monday to seek the aid of Pakistani leaders in reviving stalled peace talks with Taliban insurgents, ahead of the planned drawdown of international troops
Afghan president to seek Pakistan's help with Taliban talks

Afghan President Hamid Karzai was due in Islamabad Monday to seek the aid of Pakistani leaders in reviving stalled peace talks with Taliban insurgents, ahead of the planned drawdown of international troops, dpa reported.

The Afghan ambassador to Pakistan said Karzai would urge Islamabad to use its influence with the militants to hold direct negotiations with the Kabul administration.

"He (Karzai) will focus on the need for Pakistan's support to convince the Taliban to talk to Afghan officials directly," Umer Daudzai said on the eve of the visit.

Officials told dpa that relocating the Taliban political office from Qatar to either Saudi Arabia or Turkey, and release of more militiamen from Pakistani jails would be at the top of the agenda.

It is Karzai's first visit to Pakistan since the new government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took office in June.

Pakistani officials said both Islamabad and Kabul had agreed to push for relocating the Taliban political office to another country, and a "specific venue" would be discussed during the visit.

A Foreign Ministry official also said Islamabad was willing to release more Taliban detainees, including former deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, to facilitate peace talks.

"There can be progress on this but an immediate announcement is unlikely. Things will take some time to mature," he said.

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