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    Taliban team in Qatar for peace negotiations

    KABUL (PAN): A five-member Taliban delegation has reached Doha, the capital of Qatar, for peace negotiations with the United States, an official said on Saturday.

    Mullah Mohammad Omar’s secretary and ex-foreign minister Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, then ambassador to Saudi Arabia Maulvi Shahabuddin Dilawar, Taliban’s representative to the United Nations, Sohail Shaheen, and a former third secretary at the embassy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were among the delegates.

    The ex-chief of vice and virtue department, Maulvi Qalamuddin, confirmed the visit, saying all the delegates were educated, could speak English fluently and were moderate members of the militant movement.

    Approached for comments, President Hamid Karzai’s deputy spokesman Siamak Herawi said he had no official information about the delegation’s visit to Qatar.

    On the sidelines of the second Bonn conference, the US, Germany and Qatar agreed to set up a Taliban office in Qatar, a move supported by the Afghan government and welcomed by the fighters.

    A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, also confirmed to The Telegraph that their delegation was in Qatar for peace talks.

    myn /mud