Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REVISITED

After key battle, Syrian town of Kobane looks to the future

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'War is not an option,' says former FARC guerrilla leader

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Madagascar political crisis: top court orders formation of unity government

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Ireland's abortion referendum

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Weinstein in court; Ireland abortion vote; Italy's populist takeover

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Sugar and spice: The flavours of the French Caribbean

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

The French are so rude! Or are they?

Read more

ENCORE!

The writing's on the wall: Revolutionary posters from May 68

Read more

REPORTERS

'We heard there might be a civil war': May 68 seen from abroad

Read more

Asia-pacific

Afghan officials hold rare talks with Taliban near Paris

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-12-20

Afghan government officials met with representatives of the Taliban and another rebel group at an undisclosed venue near Paris on Thursday for two days of secretive talks aimed at ending the conflict in Afghanistan.

Afghan officials met with Taliban rebels and envoys from another Islamist militant group near Paris on Thursday to discuss ways to end the fighting in Afghanistan and prepare for a future without NATO troops.

French hosts say the secretive meeting among rival Afghans in Chantilly, a town famed for its castle and racecourse, is not expected to involve any horse-trading toward a possible peace and reconciliation deal.

About 20 representatives from President Hamid Karzai’s government, the Taliban, the political opposition and the Islamist Hezb-i-Islami militant group were due to begin tentative talks after 11 years of war.

Afghan political analyst Waheed Mujda told French radio station RFI on Wednesday that “the seniority of the Taliban representatives being sent, which includes their former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, shows that they’re taking these talks seriously”. According to Mujda, the Taliban consider the talks “an opportunity to lay out their vision of the future of Afghanistan”.

Earlier this week the UN Security Council lifted a travel ban on several Taliban officials, some of whom were expected to attend the talks in Chantilly.

The meeting comes as France is pulling its last combat troops from Afghanistan – well ahead of NATO’s 2014 target date for withdrawal.

With much of the country still prey to fighting, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has stepped up attempts to persuade the Taliban to end the violence and join the political reconciliation. The last Taliban "trust-building" talks, hosted by Qatar in March, failed to produce results.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2012-12-20

  • PAKISTAN

    Deadly car bomb strikes Pakistan market

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Troops free kidnapped US doctor in Afghanistan

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Taliban claims attack on Afghan intelligence chief

    Read more

COMMENT(S)