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Spanta (left) with Steinmeier in Berlin in January (epa) April 5, 2007 -- Afghanistan's foreign minister today rejected German politicians' suggestions that Afghan leaders should start a dialogue with moderate elements of the Taliban.

Speaking on Germany's NDR radio, Rangeen Dadfar Spanta said that there is no such thing as a "moderate" Taliban member.

He compared the possibility of cooperating with Taliban loyalists to German leaders forming a coalition with neo-Nazi parties.

Spanta made the comments in response to calls by Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Kurt Beck, backed by Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, also an SPD member.

Meanwhile, the governor of Afghanistan's Nimroz Province, Ghulam Dastagir, says 200 Afghan police have been dispatched to search for two French aid workers and their three Afghan staff missing in southwestern Afghanistan.

The French man and woman, who work for the aid group Terre d'Enfance (A World for Our Children), and their Afghan staff have been missing since they left their office in Nimroz on April 3.

A purported Taliban spokesman said the group had kidnapped the five, but the claim could not be independently confirmed.

(AP, AFP)
RFE/RL Afghanistan Report


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