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Karzai tried to thwart peace talks between US, Taliban: Analysts

Kabul, Wed, 08 Feb 2012 ANI

Kabul, Feb 8(ANI): Afghan President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly tried to thwart the most focused U.S. effort to begin peace talks with the Taliban, observers have said.


Though Karzai has repeatedly declared that his top priority is finding a political settlement to the Afghan war, his actions seem to be almost deliberate provocations aimed at Washington, analysts added.


Karzai had tried to halt the contacts between the Taliban and the US after the latter had announced its intention to open an office in Qatar, The Los Angeles Times reports.


He objected to the prospective locale and recalled Afghanistan's ambassador to Qatar, complaining that his administration had been left out of the loop in key discussions.


Karzai, subsequently, agreed to the Qatar arrangement but presidential aides later disclosed that he was seeking to set up parallel meetings with insurgents in Saudi Arabia.


Karzai had also sought support of visiting Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, who declared that Pakistan would support an Afghan-led peace process, an implicit warning against too much U.S. control over the prospective talks in Qatar.


The moves leave the United States and its allies in the awkward position of publicly proclaiming that any peace process must be "Afghan-owned" and "Afghan-led" even though the Taliban has refused any discussion with the Karzai government


Many observers view Karzai's role as a potential spoiler as far outweighing any other influence he wields, the report said.


Part of Karzai's aggrieved stance regarding contacts in Qatar can be traced to the spectacular failure of his efforts to open negotiations with the Taliban, including setting up the High Peace Council that led to council's head Burhanuddin Rabbani's assassination, the report added. (ANI)


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