Rassoul calls on emir of Qatar
KABUL (PAN): The Afghan foreign minister on Tuesday met the emir of Qatra on international and regional issues, including bilateral relations in Doha, where the Taliban are to open their political bureau.
Heading a delegation to Qatar, Dr. Zalmai Rassoul called on Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the QNA news agency reported. Issues of mutual concern figured at meeting, the report said without elaborating on the issues.
On Sunday, the foreign ministry in Kabul said Rassoul would discuss the ongoing peace drive with his hosts, including the opening of Taliban’s office and evolving a mechanism for the involvement of the Qatar government in the talks.
At a recent regional conference in Dushanbe, Qatari officials agreed that their role in the reconciliation effort would be based on Afghanistan’s sovereignty and its ownership of the peace drive.
Faramarz Tamana, deputy spokeswoman for the ministry, told journalists: "Qatar or any other country that wants to play a role in the peace efforts should respect our view and sovereignty of Afghanistan."
In early January, the Taliban announced they had agreed to open a political office in Doha for negotiations with Washington, a move supported by Kabul.
But earlier this month, the rebels suspended the talks, saying the US had no clear policy and had failed to keep the promises it had held out to them.
Starting on Tuesday, the two-day visit is the first by a senior Afghan government minister to the Gulf state since the Taliban announced that they would open an office in Doha.
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