[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Afghan officials to talk with Taliban in Doha

President Karzai says he will send officials to Qatari capital, where Taliban is set to open political office.

Last Modified: 18 Jun 2013 15:37
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Nabi Misdaq, an Afghan political analyst, says the Taliban move is a 'significant development' [Al Jazeera]

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said that his government will send representatives to Qatar soon to discuss peace with the Taliban, a day after it was reported that the group was set to open its political office in Doha.

The announcement on Tuesday is the first significant step towards reaching a ceasefire in the 12-year-old war against the armed group.

"Afghanistan's High Peace Council will travel to Qatar to discuss peace talks with the Taliban," Karzai said in Kabul, referring to the council he formed in late 2010 to pursue talks with the armed group.

Karzai was speaking at a ceremony in which the international military coalition marked its final handover of security to Afghan forces.

There was no immediate comment from Taliban.

Al Jazeera talks to former adviser to Afghan president

Al Jazeera had earlier reported that Taliban would open a political office in the Qatari capital, Doha, on Tuesday.

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 negotiating table.

In March, Karzai met Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, and discussed "issues of mutual interest," the state news agency QNA said, without elaborating on the substance of their talks.

Members of the Taliban arrived to Doha about one year ago to establish the office from which they could engage in negotiations with representatives of Washington, in the hope of eventually achieving direct Afghan-to-Afghan talks with the government of President Hamid Karzai. 

But as early as March of this year, the Taliban seemed far from ready to forge peace by laying down their arms.

322

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.