Afghanistan suspends talks after US-Taliban move

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Afghanistan has suspended talks with the US aimed at determining the nature of US military presence after foreign troops withdraw in 2014.

A spokesman for President Hamid Karzai said the decision was taken over “contradictions” over the US proposal of direct talks with the Taliban.

The Taliban refuse to talk to Mr Karzai and he is angry the US did not make this a precondition, analysts say.

Earlier, four US soldiers died in a Taliban attack at an Afghan air base.

A spokesman for the Taliban said the militants had launched two rockets at Bagram airbase, the largest military base for US troops in Afghanistan.

The attack came just hours after the US announced it would open direct talks with the Taliban at their office in the Qatari capital, Doha.

A condition for the talks was for the Taliban to renounce violence. However, US President Barack Obama did not make a ceasefire part of the preliminary negotiations.

The Afghan government clearly thinks that US preconditions should have included a commitment to talk to the Afghan government, to acknowledge the constitution of Afghanistan and to renounce violence.

 

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