Karzai hopes US-Taliban talks to end bloodshed
KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday said his government was agreed to the establishment of a Taliban liaison office in Doha because it could lead to an end of the bloodshed in Afghanistan.
A statement issued from the Presidential Palace quoted Karzai as saying his government was welcoming the peace talks between the US and the Taliban to stop the war.
On Tuesday, a Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a statement said they agreed to have 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.
Karzai said in order to stop the war, the killing of innocent people and other conspiracies, they supported the proposed talks between the US and the insurgents.
He said his government believed the peace talks were the only way to resolve the ongoing conflict in the country. "Peace is one of the core demands of Afghans," he added.
Karzai said nothing about the participation of his administration officials in the talks. He had previously insisted the talks must be Afghan-led and had preferred Saudi Arabia or Turkey to host the Taliban political bureau.
The US has reportedly agreed in principle to release high-ranking Taliban officials from Guantánamo Bay in return for the insurgents' agreement to open a political office for peace negotiations in Qatar, a British national daily newspaper said.
The Guardian, citing sources familiar with the talks in the US and in Afghanistan, said the handful of Taliban figures will include Mullah Khair Khowa, a former interior minister, and Noorullah Noori, a former governor in northern Afghanistan.
It is not clear when the office will open, and there is also likely to be disagreement on the role of the Kabul government.
The Taliban's Tuesday statement said the group was only interested in talking to the "United States of America and their foreign allies."
Some Kabul-based political analysts believe the talks without participation of the Afghan government would have a negative impact on the reconciliation plan.
While the White House on Tuesday said it welcomes any move that would result in political reconciliation in Afghanistan, while the State Department argues that no peace talks is possible in a region of conflict without the parties having a political address.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.