Afghan Opposition Urges Caution In Taliban Talks

By Salon Staff

Published January 9, 2012 10:18PM (EST)

BERLIN (AP) — Three prominent Afghan opposition leaders on Monday warned against trusting the Taliban in peace talks, saying they are "not honest."

Former Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum and two other members of the Afghan National Front said it would be "naive" to exclude the possibility that the Taliban are using negotiations to assuage the United States government while troops are being withdrawn, while planning to "resurge" after they are gone at the end of 2014.

The comments come a week after the Taliban announced plans to open a political office in Qatar to hold talks with the U.S.

The Afghans met with a group of four members of the U.S. House of Representatives in a follow-up to a December conference in Bonn for private talks not sanctioned by the U.S. State Department.

Asked about the meeting, the State Department said it had suggested to the members of Congress they should meet Afghan representatives in Afghanistan and not in Germany.

"We also believe it's always best when our members of Congress can see a broad cross section of Afghan political leaders, not just a slice," spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. "But it's within their right to meet with whomever they'd like."


Associated Press writer Bradley Klapper in Washington contributed to this report.

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