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Taliban may cancel peace talks with US, Afghanistan

Last Updated: Saturday, June 22, 2013 - 00:29

Zee Media Bureau

Doha: The meeting between US officials and representatives of the Taliban may be cancelled because of Afghanistan`s objections over the flag and nameplate on the Taliban`s new office here.

Taliban fighters on Friday hailed the rebels` new office in Qatar as evidence of their success on the front lines but vowed to battle on until all US forces leave Afghanistan.

Earlier in the day, peace talks between the US and the Taliban in Qatar were put on hold and a planned meeting was also cancelled.

US had also stressed that the office must not be treated as an embassy for the hardliners who were ousted from power in 2001.

"We welcome the opening of the Taliban office in Qatar, and we are happy about it," Mullah Ehsanullah, a local Taliban fighter in the Zherai district of southern province Kandahar, told a news agency by telephone.

"With the establishment of this office, we want to hold talks with the international community like an independent and sovereign state."

"We are reaching our goals in defeating the US, now we want to free our country from occupation. We want to build our country on our own."

When the Qatar office opened on Tuesday, it used the title of the rebels` 1996-2001 government, the "Islamic Emirate Of Afghanistan" and flew the white Taliban flag -- a provocative symbol of oppression to many Afghans.

With agency inputs

First Published: Saturday, June 22, 2013 - 00:22
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