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    Karzai backs Taliban's office in Doha

    KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday said his government would support the US move toward the opening of Taliban's political office in Qatar, saying Turkey or Saudi Arabia remained his government's preferred places for such a liaison point

    In an interview with Turkish journalists at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Karzai said they had already declared Saudi Arabia and Turkey as preferred places for Taliban's political address.

    However, he would not oppose the opening of a Taliban office in Doha for the sake of peace in Afghanistan.

    He said the Afghan government was ready to take forward the reconciliation mission and wanted insurgents to have an address as soon as possible to enable his administration to take practical steps toward peace.

    He told Turkish media outlets though most of foreign troops would leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, yet he saw no anarchy in the wake of their withdrawal.

    Karzai once again urged the international community to equip Afghan forces with modern weaponry to enable them to defend the country on their own.

    Also on Tuesday, the High Peace Council said Afghanistan would accept the presence of a Taliban liaison centre in Qatar under strict ground rules, forbidding foreign intervention in peace talks.

    Ismail Qassemyar, a member of the council, warned the United States and other nations against trying to strike independent deals with the militants.

    ma/mud