'Foreign intelligence services' disrupt Taliban talks: Afghan FM
Thursday, February 13, 2014
By Betul Yuruk
ANKARA - Afghan Foreign Minister Ahmed Osmani said 'foreign intelligence services' disrupt peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
"If the foreign intelligence (services) cut ties with the Taliban during the process, negotiations can start," Osmani told an AA correspondent in an exclusive interview. If these foreign elements do not support the Taliban, they cannot survive."
The Afghan government has repeatedly claimed that the Taliban are supported by Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
"Pakistan must bring the Taliban to the negotiating table," he said.
The minister also expressed willingness to launch talks with the Taliban.
"We (the Afghan government) first want to begin peace negotiations with the Taliban, then we will sign the security pact with the U.S.," he added.
The U.S. and Afghanistan have spent months negotiating a 'Bilateral Security Agreement' that will allow NATO troops to stay on after 2014.
The planned withdrawal of NATO led-forces has prompted concerns about a possible rise in the number of Taliban attacks.
Osmani said 98 percent of the Afghan people want the security agreement to be signed, however, negotiating a peace agreement with the Taliban would be a more concrete step before signing the security pact.
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