Karzai: No peace talks with the Taliban unless only Afghans involved, violence ends
By DAVID RISING and AMIR SHAH Associated Press
June 19, 2013 - 7:58 am EDT
KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan's president says he will not pursue peace talks with the Taliban unless the United States steps out of the negotiations and the militant group stops its violent attacks on the ground.
Hamid Karzai is upset over a U.S. and Taliban announcement the day before that they would begin preliminary peace talks in Qatar without the Afghan government.
A general view of Taliban office in Doha before the official opening in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday, June 18, 2013. In a major breakthrough, the Taliban and the U.S. announced Tuesday that they will hold talks on finding a political solution to ending nearly 12 years of war in Afghanistan as the Islamic militant movement opened an office in Qatar. American officials with the Obama administration said the office in the Qatari capital of Doha was the first step toward the ultimate U.S.-Afghan goal of a full Taliban renouncement of links with al-Qaida. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)
According to a statement from Karzai's office, he says that his High Peace Council would "neither attend nor participate in the talks" until the process is "completely" in the hands of Afghans.
Karzai earlier Wednesday announced he had suspended talks with the U.S. on a new security deal in protest of how the talks were announced.
He also says peace talks cannot begin amid "fighting and bloodshed."
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