Afghanistan Ditches 3-Way Peace Talks

Won't attend US-Pakistan meetings after ex-president's assassination
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 29, 2011 4:51 PM CDT

(Newser) – Fuming at Pakistan over its alleged role in the assassination of a former Afghan president, Kabul is abandoning a trilateral attempt at peace in the region. A meeting between US, Afghan, and Pakistani officials had been scheduled for Oct. 8, with the three intending to work toward bringing the Taliban into peace talks, but Afghanistan won’t be attending, says an Afghan official. “From now on Afghanistan will follow 'trust but verify' approach towards Pakistan, in particular with regard to our peace effort.”

The “turning point” was the assassination of negotiator and former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani, the official notes, saying that the killing “definitely goes back to the same place: Pakistan.” Afghanistan’s position means Pakistan’s prime minister is no longer invited to Kabul at the end of October for another peace meeting; it also creates a roadblock for the US as it seeks a troop withdrawal by the end of 2014, the Wall Street Journal notes. The US will still attend the planned meeting, though American officials have also pointed the finger at Pakistan in the attack on the US embassy in Kabul. (Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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