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Taliban 'set to open office in Qatar'

Sources tell Al Jazeera that Afghan armed group will open political office in Doha on Tuesday.

Last Modified: 18 Jun 2013 02:20
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Nabi Misdaq, an Afghan political analyst, says the Taliban move is a 'significant development' [Al Jazeera]

Taliban will open a political office in the Gulf state of Qatar on Tuesday, Al Jazeera has learned.

The office of the Afghan armed group in Doha will aim at facilitating peace talks.

In March, Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, met the emir of Qatar to discuss plans for the Taliban to open an office in the Gulf state.

He discussed "issues of mutual interest" with Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the state news agency QNA said, without elaborating on the substance of their talks. 

Karzai also met Afghan and Arab officials and business people.

The delegation travelling with the Afghan president included Zalmai Rassoul, the foreign minister; Salahuddin Rabbani, the head of the High Peace Council.

Until earlier this year, Karzai was strongly opposed to the Taliban having a meeting venue outside Afghanistan, but the US has pushed for the Taliban to be present at the negotiatiing table as Washington prepares to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan in the next two years.

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Al Jazeera
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