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    Afghanistan sets up High Peace Council for talks with opposition

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    Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai on Saturday announced establishment of High Peace Council to hold talks with the Taliban.

    Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai on Saturday announced establishment of High Peace Council to hold talks with the Taliban.

    Setting up the panel is a "significant step towards peace talks," Karzai's office said in a statement. The move is one of Karzai's most substantial attempts to escalate down the long-lasting unrests and terrorist acts across the country.

    The Taliban group, which was toppled in a 2001 U.S.-led campaign, stages regular attacks on provincial government officials, police and civilians and plants roadside bombs to target Afghan, U.S. and NATO troops. Illegal drug production and trade is the only source of income for many in the war-torn southwest Asian nation, and is a major source of financing for Islamist militants.

    Influential politicians, public and religious figures are among the members of the panel. The council's organization committee approved the final list of members on Saturday. It will be announced later.

    Setting up the High Peace Council was approved in June at a "peace jirga", where Afghan tribal, religious and political leaders got together. Taliban attacked the "peace jigra" by fire.

     

    CABUL, September 4 (RIA Novosti)

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