Karzai says he met with Afghan insurgent faction
Friday, January 20, 2012
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai says he has personally met with a delegation from the insurgent faction Hizb-i-Islami for peace negotiations that he hopes "will have good results."
Karzai's Saturday announcement to parliament appears to assert his own standing in any future peace process by showing his ability to bring militant factions other than the Taliban to the negotiating table. He did not specify when the meeting took place.
The U.S. has been pushing for talks with the Taliban outside the country. Special American representative Marc Grossman is to meet Karzai on Saturday to discuss progress and plans.
Hizb-i-Islami is a radical Islamist militia that controls territory in Afghanistan's northeast. Its leader, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, is a former U.S. ally now listed as a terrorist by Washington.