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By Markus Krah
Berlin - The Afghan government will not negotiate with the resurgent Taliban as a group, Afghanistan's national security adviser Zalmai Rassoul said on Wednesday.
In an interview in Berlin with Reuters, the adviser to President Hamid Karzai said there was "no way" the government could negotiate with the hardline Islamists even though Karzai offered peace talks on Monday, but without naming the Taliban.
"We have a reconciliation process," Rassoul said. "We have always said that all those who are fighting today, when they drop their gun and accept the Afghanistan constitution, they are most welcome.
"But with the Taliban as a political, ideological or military institution, we cannot talk, no way - they are terrorists."
Karzai offered peace talks on Monday after the bloodiest year since the Taliban were driven from power in 2001.
More than 4 000 people, including about 170 foreign soldiers, died in fighting in 2006, which saw a sharp jump in suicide bombings. Taliban commanders have warned of a massive summer offensive this year.
Karzai made his offer while speaking at a religious gathering in Kabul on one of the holiest days of the Shi'a Islamic calendar, but he did not specifically name the Taliban.
Rassoul made clear the reconciliation is for individuals.
"We welcome all those who are dropping their guns and accepting our constitution. There is one condition: that they have not committed human rights abuses in Afghanistan. That is something no government can accept, and the Afghan people will not accept that."
Nato Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said in Berlin on Monday there was no point in negotiating with the Taliban, since they were only interested in harming Afghanistan and undermining efforts to build democracy.
Nato has 32 000 troops stationed in Afghanistan, some of whom have been trying to drive Taliban fighters out of the south since August. The Taliban have vowed to drive out foreign troops and overthrow Karzai and his government.
The insurgents and their Islamic allies are mostly active in the southern and eastern areas bordering Pakistan. The Taliban, Nato and US commanders say there will be bloody violence within months, with the approach of spring as the snows thaw.