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Taliban, Karzai reps may meet in France

Published By United Press International
PARIS, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The Taliban has agreed to send representatives to a conference in France to meet representatives of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, officials say.

The three-day conference is scheduled to start Wednesday, Radio France Internationale reported. RFI cited reports from a Pakistani newspaper, The News.

The Karzai administration recently announced a peace plan. It would allow members of the Taliban to take government positions if the group gives up violence.

The Taliban said it would use the conference to give its own position.

"Our representatives will only address the conference and as this conference is a research and scientific conference, therefore no agreements would be made with anybody and no talks would be held with occupying forces or the Kabul administration," the group said in a statement.

The Foundation for Strategic Research, which is sponsoring the conference, has made no announcement of the gathering on its website and no indication it will be open to reporters, RFI said.
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Race winner Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain (C) stands between second place finisher Christopher Froome of Great Britain (L) and third place finisher Vincenzo Nibali of Italy on the presentation podium following the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris on July 22, 2012. Wiggins of Great Britain became that country's first ever overall winner of the Tour de France. UPI/David Silpa