Afghan gov’t accepts Taliban office in Qatar
A former Taliban militant holds his weapon prior to handing it over to authorities. AFP photoAfghan President Hamid Karzai said Dec. 27 that his government would accept Taliban insurgents’ opening a representative office in the Gulf state of Qatar for the purpose of holding peace talks, although Saudi Arabia or Turkey would be preferable venues.
If the U.S. insists that the insurgents establish a liaison office in Qatar, “we are agreed,” Karzai said in a presidential statement. Earlier this month, Kabul recalled its ambassador to Doha for consultations over reports that the Taliban was planning to open an office in Qatar. The insurgents, who perceive themselves as winning the war, have repeatedly said they would not engage in talks with the government while foreign troops remain on Afghan soil.
Meanwhile, a roadside bomb attack killed three NATO troops in eastern Afghanistan, the military said yesterday. NATO’s US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) did not release the nationalities of the troops or give further details of the incident.