[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
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.