Hamid Karzai accepts Taleban move on peace talks

AFGHANISTAN’S president Hamid Karzai says he will accept Taleban insurgents opening a representative office in the Gulf state of Qatar for the purpose of holding peace talks.

He said Saudi Arabia or Turkey would have been preferable venues, but if the United States insisted the insurgents establish a liaison office in Qatar, “we are agreed”.

His statement came despite the government in Kabul repeatedly emphasising it would allow no foreign intervention in its plans to seek a negotiated peace with the Taleban.

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Afghan media reports in recent weeks have speculated that the US and other foreign governments were trying to strike a separate deal with the Taleban.The Islamist group has not publicly responded to peace offers.