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Afghan officials feeling sidelined and misled over US' peace talks with Taliban

Islamabad, Fri, 20 Jan 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Jan 20 (ANI): Afghan officials have expressed frustration about the character of the negotiations among the United States, Afghanistan, and the Taliban, insisting that they feel sidelined and misled.


"If we continue this way, we're doomed," The Washington Post quoted Shaida M. Abdali, Karzai's deputy national security adviser, as saying.


Marc Grossman, the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, will visit Kabul on Saturday for what Afghan officials say will be a pivotal point in negotiations.


The officials say they will demand increased clarity from the U.S. diplomat, and a promise that the peace process will promptly become Afghan-led.


Senior Afghan officials, who agreed in principle to early talks between U.S. envoys and the Taliban, believe American diplomats have overplayed their hand, making tentative concessions that Karzai opposes and creating distrust that could cripple the peace effort, a senior Karzai adviser was quoted by the paper, as saying.


The Afghan government is now operating from a position of "deep suspicion," he added.


Karzai's advisers say their anxiety could be dispelled during Grossman's visit on Saturday.


"We need to know exactly what they've said to the Taliban and what they've heard in return. We need to be involved in the future of our own country," an Afghan official said. (ANI)


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