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Peace Conference Continues in Afghanistan


Hundreds of Pakistani and Afghan politicians and tribal leaders are meeting in Kabul to discuss improving border security and strengthening bilateral relations. VOA correspondent Benjamin Sand reports from the Afghan capital, where the second day of the four-day peace conference is in session.

Delegates attending the conference, or "jirga," say Friday's talks will tackle specific issues dividing the South Asian neighbors.

Each blames the other for a recent surge in violence by Islamic militants along their shared border.

But some participants in the talks say little progress can be made here unless the outlawed Taleban is invited to take part.

Ali Muhammad Jan Aurkzai, one of the more prominent jirga participants, is governor of Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province. The province is a front-line in the battle with pro-Taleban militants, and Aurkzai says the Taleban has to be brought into the discussions.

"There has to be some negotiations. Unless that happens, no matter what else we do, I don't think the problem will be resolved," he said.

The jirga, which is backed by the United States, is due to end Sunday.

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