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Afghanistan

Afghan jirga calls for peace programme with Taliban

Reuters

Delegates at a landmark conference in Kabul are calling for a peace programme to open talks with the Taliban. About 1,600 delegates, representing Afghans across the political and social spectrum, attended the so-called peace jirga, which finished on Friday.

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The Taliban did not take part; saying peace discussions can start only after all foreign forces leave the country.

Sardar Ahmad, Kabul

Delegates also called for the release of Afghans held without charge in military detention centres.

They said military operations conducted by Nato soldiers without the participation of Afghanistan's own security forces must end.

Correspondent Sardar Ahmad in Kabul said the jirga was a success for Afghan President Hamid Karzai, but if the Taliban had taken part it would have been even better.

"President Karzai called it to get advice, as he says, from the nation on reconcilation and peace with the Taliban," he said. "It is important and lots lot of analysts and experts here see this as a major success for President Karzai. It appeared that most of the delegates are backing President Karzai's plans for peace."

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