Code 30401
PublishDate: Tuesday, May 5, 2009 12:01

U.S. to hold 2nd round of talks with Gulbudin Hekmatyar

(Xinhua)_
"The second round of talks between the Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) led by Hematyar and the U.S. officials is expected to take place shortly," Daily Outlook quoted an unknown official of the party as saying.
The new round of talks would be held in Dubai or Ankara within the next two weeks, the source further added.
The first round of talks between U.S. and the outlawed Afghan group, according to media reports, was held in Washington last month.
According to the newspaper, a representative of Hekmatyar group Daud Abidi, who attended last talks with the U.S. officials, said the HIA delegation was formed after an HIA council meeting to discuss ways for finding solutions to the Afghan conflict with a U.S. delegation to be headed by Richard Holbrooke, U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Hekmatyar-led radical party the Hizb-e-Islami, whose fighters like Taliban have been fighting the U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan, has been calling for the pullout of all foreign troops from Afghanistan.
Nevertheless, Afghan President Hamid Karzai insisted that any talks with the armed insurgents should be led by Afghan government and U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has backed it.

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