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Regional Afghan Conference Opens In Dushanbe

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is scheduled to attend the conference in Dushanbe.
A regional cooperation conference on Afghanistan is set to begin in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe.

The two-day gathering will bring together the presidents of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Iran.

It's the fifth such regional conference focusing on security in Afghanistan and the region.

The conference is expected to follow up on the decisions to strengthen regional economic cooperation reached at the last gathering in Istanbul.

It comes as a fresh report by the International Crisis Group (ICG) predicts attempts by the Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai to negotiate with the Taliban are unlikely to lead to a lasting peace.

The Brussels-based group says any deal that appears to give the Taliban preferential treatment could spark a backlash from the Northern Alliance, Hezb-e Islami, and other major factions.

The ICG also says the West is eager to pull out of Afghanistan "with or without a settlement."

Based on AFP reporting