Taliban’s Qatar office high on Karzai agenda
KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai would discuss with Qatari officials the opening of Taliban’s political bureau in Doha during his upcoming visit to the Gulf country, the foreign ministry spokesman said on Sunday.
Janan Musazai, who did not give any date of the trip, told a news conference in Kabul the president would be visiting the friendly country in response to the Qatari emir.
On the sidelines of the 2nd Bonn Conference in 2011, the United States of America and Germany had agreed on opening a political bureau for the Taliban in Qatar -- an initiative welcomed by the Afghan government and the Taliban.
Last year, the Taliban and Americans initiated entered secret parleys in Qatar, but later the insurgents later pulled out of the fragile process. The movement accused US interlocutors of not being honest and serious about a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan.
Kabul insists Doha should sign an agreement with it on the Taliban’s office, and the movement must shun the insurgency ahead of any peace talks.
Musazai added: “I should say that the Afghan government’s stance on opening of Taliban’s bureau in Qatar has not changed. The only objective behind it is to facilitate direct talks between the two sides.”
While ruling out negotiations with the Karzai administration, the Taliban have expressed their willingness for creation of their office in Qatar to forge contacts with the international community. The US also supports the move.
Musazai said Karzai would also confer with his hosts on preparations for opening Qatar’s embassy in Kabul and expansion of bilateral ties, including economic cooperation, as well as sending Afghan workers to the Gulf state.
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