Paris Meeting Will Have 'No Positive Result': High Peace Official

News - Afghanistan


The Paris meeting between Afghan and Taliban leaders on 20 Dec. will not result in concrete progress toward peace, a High Peace Council official said Monday.

Speaking to TOLOnews, Deputy Chair of the Afghan High Peace Council Ataullah Lodin said that as Taliban have repeatedly declined to negotiate with the Afghan government, the meeting will fail to bring any progress.

"The High Peace Council welcomes any peace negotiation, but I think this meeting will have no positive results in bringing peace because the Taliban have clearly stated they don't want to negotiate peace," Lodin said, adding that no "official" government representative will attend the meeting he called "symbolic."

Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Sunday that individual representatives of the Afghan government, the Taliban and other political parties will meet in Paris to discuss peace in the post-2014 Afghanistan.

"They have been invited on an individual basis," he said." The idea is to get them to talk freely and behind closed doors," he told Reuters, adding that there would be 20 participants. He declined to say who were attending.

But reports suggest that National Coalition leader Abdullah Abdullah and Afghanistan National Front leader Ahmad Zia Massoud will attend the meeting.

The Afghan government has made repeated overtures to the Taliban to bring them to the negotiating table. The Taliban have rebuffed all such attempts, calling Karzai's administration a "puppet government." They continue to reject recent media accounts that they are ready to meet with government officials in Paris.

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