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Pakistan ready to give Taliban willing for peace talks 'safe passage'

Washington, Mon, 10 Sep 2012 ANI

Washington, Sept. 10 (ANI): Pakistan has agreed to provide safe passage to the Taliban leaders willing to participate in reconciliation talks with the Afghan government, U.S. and diplomatic sources have said.

The issue of providing safe passage to Taliban leaders living in Pakistan was discussed in a meeting between U.S. and Pakistani officials in Islamabad last week, a U.S. official said.

"And over the coming weeks, we are expecting a series of other important bilateral senior meetings, both in Islamabad and in the U.S., including in the lead up to the UNGA and in New York," The Dawn quoted the official, as saying.

The official said the U.S. and Pakistan had formed a working group to facilitate safe passage to Taliban leaders willing to visit Kabul for talks with Afghan officials.

"We have and will continue to engage with Pakistan to ensure that we are cooperating as effectively as possible to eliminate the threat posed to both U.S. and Pakistani interests," said the official.

But according to diplomatic sources, Taliban leaders are not too keen on meeting Afghan officials.

"They want direct talks with U.S. and Pakistani officials, not with Afghan authorities," said one of the sources. (ANI)



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