Afghan envoys to travel to Qatar for Taliban talks
Kabul: Afghan government envoys are to travel to Qatar to try to open peace talks with the Taliban on a possible deal ending 12 years of conflict, President Hamid Karzai said Tuesday.
Karzai`s announcement was a boost for the moribund peace process, which has made little ground despite mounting pressure as the withdrawal of 100,000 NATO troops from Afghanistan looms next year.
"Our High Peace Council will go to Qatar, they will talk to the Taliban," the president said at a ceremony marking the final handover of security responsibilities from NATO to Afghan forces.
However Taliban insurgent leaders have consistently refused to meet the council, as it is appointed by Karzai, whom the insurgents dismiss as a puppet of the United States.
A Taliban office is expected to open soon in the Qatari capital Doha in an effort to facilitate talks between the militants and the Afghan government.
Karzai previously opposed the office over fears that his government would be frozen out of any future peace deal involving the Islamist extremists and the US.
"We hope that with the opening of the office either now or in the future, the peace talks between HPC and Taliban start as soon as possible," he said at Tuesday`s ceremony at a military academy outside Kabul.
He stressed that any peace talks should be rapidly relocated to Afghanistan.
Afghan soldiers and police are now in the security lead across the country, marking a major milestone in the international military mission that began with the ousting of the Taliban in 2001.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- PM Modi speaks at Golden Jubilee celebrations of poet Dinkar’s works
- Vadodara: Policemen seen dancing with bar girls
- Coal scam: Naveen Jindal, Madhu Koda and others get bail
- DNA: IAF Mirage 2000 fighter plane lands successfully on Yamuna expressway
- One year of Modi govt: Arun Jaitley addresses press conference
- Zee Media Exclusive: Kangana, Madhavan talk about their film 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns'
- DNA: Osama documents show 'Indian brother in Madinah' financed al Qaeda
- ISIS executes Syrian fighter using anti-tank rocket launcher
- DNA: Harmful chemicals found in Maggi, Nestle India still in denial mode
- Zee Media Exclusive interview with Congress leader Kamal Nath
- CM Kejriwal shortlists 39 'unwanted' IAS officers in Delhi
- Columbia student takes rape-protest mattress to graduation
- Mumbai: One injured in shootout at Film City
- DNA: Modi-led NDA govt's hits and misses in one year
- Delhi: Car catches fire after crash, one dead
- Jayalalithaa makes public appearance, meets Governor: As it happened
- IPL 2015, Qualifier 2: CSK vs RCB - As it happened...
- Geelani's passport application incomplete, cannot be processed: MEA
- India to soon have its own space shuttle!
- Kejriwal slams notification on LG's powers, says Modi running Delhi govt through back door
- Tanu Weds Manu Returns movie review: Brilliant execution, superb performance!
- WBBSE 10th Madhyamik Results 2015: West Bengal Board (wbbse.org & wbresults.nic.in) Class 10th Madhyamik Pariksha Results 2015 to be announced on May 22
- Manohar Parrikar meets troops at Siachen base camp
- Businessman shot next to Amitabh Bachchan's shooting location in Mumbai Film City
- After land bill, net neutrality, Rahul Gandhi to fight for ex-servicemen now
- SC asks Haryana Police to quickly finish AIPMT paper leak probe