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ST PETERSBURG, June 20 (Itar-Tass) - After the U.S. decides to start talks with the Taliban movement America is forced to settle relationship with Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai, Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Mikhail Margelov told journalists on Thursday on the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
“Apart from building relations with the Taliban movement, the United States is forced to settle relationship with [Afghan President] Hamid Karzai,” Margelov said.
It is obvious that the Taliban movement in Afghanistan was a serious military and political force, the legislator said.
He believes that by withdrawing troops from Afghanistan Americans “do not want to turn the country into the kind of Taliban land”. He names political contacts with the Taliban movement as forced and considers Karzai’s sharp reaction to such step as “evident”. “In this aspect Americans should weight all political risks that they can face from Hamid Karzai and his government,” he added.
According to earlier reports, Washington sent an official delegation to Doha for peace talks with the Taliban movement. The key topic of the talks is prospects for the inter-Afghan settlement.
Karzai said his government would not take part in peace talks with the Taliban movement until “the process will be managed by the Afghans themselves”.
Karzai said the opening of the Taliban office in Qatar runs counter the guarantees, which were earlier given to Kabul.
On Wednesday, the U.S. State Department said the trip to Qatar by U.S. Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan James Dobbins postponed.