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Afghan Militant Confirms Talks With U.S., Afghan Officials

A representative from the Hizb-i-Islami militant group has confirmed talks are in progress with representatives from the U.S. and Afghan governments as well as military officials from the U.S. and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

Ghairat Baheer, a son-in-law of Hizb-i-Islami leader Gulbuldin Hekmatyar, said he led a delegation to Kabul for talks with high-ranking officials.

"Actually the negotiation is going on between different concerned parties of the Afghan conflict," he said. "I think the Americans are negotiating with Taliban in Qatar and they have negotiated with us in Kabul.

"I led a delegation of my party to Kabul where I met with CIA chief David Petraeus and American ambassador [Ryan] Crocker, and also their joint commander of ISAF General Allen. Also we had several rounds of talks with Afghan President Mr. [Hamid] Karzai. But we are at the initial stages of our negotiations."

Baheer insisted that the major obstacle to reaching a deal was the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan but he also mentioned the Afghan constitution was controversial and did not enjoy widespread support among Afghanistan's people.