Afghanistan

EXCLUSIVE-Afghanistan sets ground rules for Taliban talks

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  • Insurgents must give up violence, cut ties to al Qaeda

  • Taliban must accept constitution, gains of past 10 years

  • Pakistani support necessary for talks

  • Govt ready to accept external Taliban office

By Sanjeev Miglani and Hamid Shalizi

KABUL, Dec 26 (Reuters) - Afghanistan will accept a Taliban office in Qatar to help peace talks but no foreign power can get involved in the process without its consent, the government's peace council said, as efforts gather pace to find a solution to the 10-year war.

Afghanistan's High Peace Council, in a note to foreign missions, has set out ground rules for engaging the Taliban after Kabul grew concerned that the United States and Qatar, helped by Germany, had secretly agreed with the Taliban to open an office in the Qatari capital, Doha.

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