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    Taliban say agreed to liaison office in Doha

    KABUL (PAN): The Taliban on Tuesday confirmed they had agreed to have a political office in Qatar for peace talks with the Afghan government and the international fraternity.

    A Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a statement said they agreed to have an office outside Afghanistan to initiate a dialogue process with the international community.

    "We are right now ready to have a political office overseas, in order to have an understanding with the international community, and in this regard we have reached an initial understanding with Qatar and relevant sites," Mujahid said.

    He also called for the release of Taliban prisoners.

    "The Islamic Emirate has also asked for the release of the Guantanamo prisoners," the statement said, using the Afghan Taliban's own name for its movement.

    As part of the accelerating, high-stakes diplomacy, the United States is considering the transfer of several high-profile Taliban prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay military prison into Afghan government custody.

    Last month, President Hamid Karzai told Turkish journalists 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.

    The High Peace council said in late December Kabul would accept a Taliban liaison office in Qatar, but underlined that no foreign power could get involved in the negotiating process without its consent.

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