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February 16, 2012

Iran Complains About Foreign Interference

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says foreign interference is the source of all problems in the region.

He did not identify which powers he meant when he made the comment Friday in Islamabad.  Mr. Ahmadinejad is holding talks with the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan on steps needed to stabilize the region.

Pakistan's historic ties with the Taliban, as well as the porous borders shared among the three neighbors, provide the foundation for the summit. The Afghan Taliban and many affiliated groups are believed to be based in Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.

A spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai praised the summit as a valuable tool in the fight against terrorism, narcotics and other common threats.

The Wall Street Journal quoted President Karzai Thursday as saying that the U.S. and Afghan government have begun secret three-way talks with the Taliban.  However, the insurgent group said in a statement Thursday that it has never negotiated with what it called "Mr. Karzai's puppet administration."

Preliminary peace talks said to be under way in Qatar reportedly include only U.S. and Taliban officials.

Prime Minister Gilani said that Pakistan supports any peace process in Afghanistan that is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned and called for the resumption of the joint peace commission between the two countries.