Afghans fail 
to hold talks with Taleban

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Afghanistan’s government has failed to secure direct talks with the Taleban and no significant progress is expected before 2014, when most Nato combat troops withdraw, a senior 
Afghan official said yesterday.

A political settlement between the Afghan government and insurgents is seen by many as the best way of delivering stability to the country before most Nato combat troops pull out at the end of 2014.

Afghan officials were also hoping to make progress in reconciliation efforts before presidential elections in April of 2014 to decrease the chances of prolonged instability.

“No breakthrough is expected before the 2014 election,” the ­official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“There have been contacts here and there but no face-to-face talks have taken place,” the Afghan official said. “There have been none in Afghanistan or other countries.”