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Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.
WASHINGTON – Washington wants to include the Taliban in talks to settle the war in Afghanistan but such an approach has Moscow concerned, according to report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
The Taliban, who are Sunni militants, are opposed to Moscow because of its support of the Shiite regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In addition, many of its members once fought the then-Soviet Union.
Joining the Taliban will be representatives from the notorious Haqqani network, which was created ostensibly to kill U.S. troops. However, the U.S. position is to accept the Haqqani in talks, should they resume.
The talks in Doha, Qatar, where the Taliban recently opened an office have been put on hold as a result of a walkout by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The Russians and even the Indians are concerned with the inclusion of the Haqqani network, as both countries already are alarmed over talks with the Taliban.
With Moscow intently watching the rising tide of Sunni Islamist militancy inside Russia, having the Taliban next door in a position of strength could make matters worse. Moscow fears the Taliban would inevitably give assistance to internal Muslims radicals who oppose Moscow and want to establish their own “Caucasus Emirates”.
An emirate among the predominantly Muslim provinces in southern Russia would seek to separate from the country altogether – a move that Moscow vehemently opposes. Such an emirate would be governed under Shariah law.
Consequently, the prospect that the U.S. wants to sit down with the Taliban and work out a power-sharing post-war arrangement is having an impact on the so-called “reset” of U.S.-Russia relations, which are becoming increasingly frosty.
If there ultimately are talks with the Taliban, any final discussions will include Afghanistan, Qatar, Pakistan and the U.S. But Russia would be left out. There’s even some question whether the U.S. would even consult with Moscow.
“Moscow has reacted sharply to the triumphalist surprise announcement by senior officials traveling with (President Barack) Obama to the recent Group of Eight summit in Northern Ireland regarding the commencement of Afghan peace talks in Doha – through protests from Kabul appear to have put these on hold for the time being,” according to former Indian Ambassador M.K. Bhadrakumar.
In the Americans’ rush to get talks started with the Taliban, pre-conditions appear to have been abandoned. One major pre-condition was the earlier demand that the Taliban disassociate itself with al-Qaida. That isn’t happening.
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