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Hizb-e Islami Leaders Meet With Karzai

3 May 2004 -- Leaders of Afghanistan's radical Hizb-e Islami faction held talks yesterday in Kabul with Afghan Transitional Administration Chairman Hamid Karzai. They told him the party wants to contest national elections planned for September.

Khalid Farooqi, head of the Hizb-e Islami's decision-making council, told a news conference afterward that "we strongly reject terrorism of any kind and from any source and want it uprooted."

He said the group has cut all ties with its past leader, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Hekmatyar is a former prime minister identified as a "terrorist" last year by Washington.

Karzai has made repeated appeals to moderate Hekmatyar supporters as well as Taliban fighters to join the political mainstream and help rebuild the war-ravaged country.