Taliban to attend Paris conference on Afghanistan

December 11, 2012 - 10:12:26 am

KABUL: The Taliban said yesterday it would attend a conference in Paris on Afghanistan this month but would not hold peace talks with Afghan government delegates or other groups.

A member of Afghanistan’s government-appointed High Peace Council said that its representatives would meet the Taliban.

“We could also meet them on the sidelines of the meeting,” Din Mohammad, who is also a cabinet minister said.

President Hamid Karzai has long sought peace talks with the Taliban, who have waged an 11-year insurgency, but the Islamists have dismissed his government as a puppet of the United States.

“We welcome any conference that is aimed at peace and stability in Afghanistan,” presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi said.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that the militants had accepted an invitation to attend the conference, which French government sources described as an internal Afghan colloquim on the future of the country.