Taliban opens office in Qatar for Afghan peace talks
Manama: Islamic fundamentalist group Taliban has been welcomed by the State of Qatar to open an office in the capital, Doha, for the purpose of holding talks to achieve peace and security in Afghanistan.
Qatar's welcoming stance, as expressed by a Qatari foreign ministry spokesperson, came on the heels of a statement released by the White House on talks between US President Barack Obama and his Afghani counterpart Hamid Karzai in Washington, the Gulf News reports.
According to the statement, Obama and Karzai said that they would support an office in Doha for the purpose of negotiations between the High Peace Council and the authorised representatives of the Taliban.
Stressing the importance of speeding Afghan peace process through the High Peace Council, the two presidents insisted that the outcomes of peace and reconciliation must respect any achievement made by Afghanistan. This included protecting the constitutional rights of all Afghan citizens, the statement added.
The statement underlined the need for Taliban and other extremist groups to end violence and cut off ties with al Qaeda and accept the constitution of Afghanistan, as a part of the peacekeeping process.