Afghan foreign minister in Qatar for talks on Taliban
Doha: Afghanistan's foreign minister, on a
two-day visit to Qatar, said Tuesday that reconciliation talks
with the Taliban must be restricted to Afghan participation
Peace negotiations with the Taliban must be "between
Afghans" while Washington and Doha can help by "providing the
appropriate environment for success," said Zalmai Rassoul
after talks with Qatari officials.
The Taliban have been leading an insurgency against
President Hamid Karzai's government for more than a decade and
peace talks have so far been slow and complicated.
Qatar's minister of state for foreign affairs, Khaled
al-Attiyah, after a meeting with Rassoul, said the gas-rich
kingdom was "moving towards the opening of a (Taliban)
political office to reactivate dialogue between all sides."
Rassoul also met with the emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa
Al-Thani, on the first visit by a senior Afghan government
minister since the Taliban announced in January that they were
to open an office in Doha to hold talks with the US.
The Afghan minister was not due to meet any Taliban
representatives on his trip because their Doha office has not
yet been opened, the foreign ministry in Kabul said yesterday.
The Afghan government has repeatedly said it has been in
negotiations with the Taliban, despite denials from the