Afghan Minorities Cautiously Support Peace Talks

Published January 13, 2012 6:09AM (EST)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Prominent Afghan opposition leaders say they support possible U.S.-brokered peace negotiations with Taliban militants but want to be part of any talks.

Members of a coalition representing Afghanistan's ethnic minorities spoke Friday as they returned from a conference in Berlin. Most fought in the Northern Alliance against the 1990s Taliban government.

The Taliban recently expressed interest in negotiations with the U.S., but it is so far unclear what other Afghan factions might be involved. The Taliban persist in referring to President Hamid Karzai's government as a puppet.

Prominent Tajik minority leader Ahmad Zia Masood says he supports talks but warns of giving up freedoms gained in the decade since the Taliban were ousted.

Ethnic Hazara leader Mohammad Muhaqiq says minority leaders should participate in any future negotiations.

By Salon Staff

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