Afghanistan has accepted plans for a Taliban political office to open in Qatar for peace talk, according to a report exclusive to Reuters.
A note sent to foreign missions from Afghanistan’s High Peace Council and seen by Reuters apparently laid out ground rules for negotiating with the Taliban, specifically that no country can be involved in the talks without permission from the Afghan government and that they cannot proceed until violence against civilians is halted.
The alleged Taliban political office due to open imminently in Qatar has never been officially confirmed, with reports first surfacing some three months ago in the UK’s The Times newspaper.
Some two weeks ago, the Afghan government recalled its ambassador to Qatar for “consultations” as fresh reports of the Taliban mission surfaced. The US, which is said to be behind the move, has yet to comment on it officially, while the Taliban themselves consistently say they have no knowledge of any such office.
The Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani did previously acknowledge a diplomatic mission of some nature was in the works, but only commented that it was “premature.”
Credit: Photo of Afghan President Hamid Karzai courtesy US Secretary of Defense