Afghan officials, Taliban meet in Paris

Dec. 19, 2012 at 9:57 AM
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PARIS, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Taliban leaders and supporters of Afghan President Hamid Karzai traveled to Paris Wednesday to begin discussing a peace road map, officials said.

Taliban officials said the militant group agreed to send two members to the three-day conference but they won't negotiate there, Radio France Internationale reported.

The three-day conference came after the Afghan government published a peace plan that, among other things, invites rebels to take official positions if they agree to end the violence. The plan also requires the rebels to break ties with al-Qaida.

The Taliban delegation would "convey their stance to the international community" at the meeting but not negotiate with the government, a statement by the militants said.

"Our representatives will only address the conference and as this conference is a research and scientific conference, therefore, no agreements would be made with anybody and no talks would be held with occupying forces or the Kabul administration," the statement said.

While the road map states the peace process "must respect the Afghan Constitution and must not jeopardize the rights and freedoms [of] the citizens of Afghanistan, both men and women," rights groups and others have expressed concern about Taliban followers holding office, RFI said.

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