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Kazai backs setting up Taliban liaison unit in Qatar

December 28, 2011 - Kabul

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has backed the opening of a Taliban representative office in Qatar for the purpose of holding peace talks.

It is for the first time Karzai has given public support to the US plan to create a Taliban base in the Gulf state, in which future talks could be held.

Earlier this month, Kabul recalled its ambassador from the Qatari capital, Doha, saying the Qataris had been discussing the issue of an office in detail with the Americans and the Germans "without keeping the Afghan government fully in the picture".

But now, Karzai said that while he preferred the idea of Turkey or Saudi Arabia hosting the office, if the Americans wanted to locate it in Doha he would agree, The BBC reports.

"Having an exact address for the opposition (is a condition) for practical steps toward starting negotiations," said a statement from Karzai's office.

The Taliban have so far made no official comment on the proposal.


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