The United States will meet the Taliban this week in Doha for talks on peace process in Afghanistan, US officials said Tuesday.
The Taliban opened an office in Doha yesterday to help restart talks and said it wanted a political solution that would bring about a just government and end foreign occupation of Afghanistan.
A senior US official said the talks would start in Doha tomorrow, but President Barack Obama cautioned against expectations of quick progress, saying the peace process would not be easy or quick.
US officials said the process could take many years and be subject to reversals.
“This is an important first step towards reconciliation; although it’s a very early step,” Obama said after a G8 meeting in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.
“We anticipate there will be a lot of bumps in the road.”
US officials say they hope the meeting will open the way for the first official peace talks between the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the Taliban, which has waged a 12-year campaign to oust him and foreign troops.
The Taliban have until now said they would not countenance talks with the government, which they consider a stooge of the United States and other Western states in the Nato coalition fighting in Afghanistan.
In opening the Qatar office, the Taliban said it sought a political solution, but said no dates had been agreed for talks.
Taliban representative Mohammed Naeem told a news briefing the group wanted good relations with “all of the world countries.”
“But the Islamic emirate (Taliban) sees the independence of the nation from the current occupation as a national and religious obligation,” he said.
US officials said that in the talks in Doha, the United States would stick to its insistence that the Taliban break ties with Al Qaeda, end violence, and accept the Afghan constitution, including protection for women and minorities. Karzai said yesterday his government would send a team to Qatar.
Source : Qatar Chronicle
Follow us on our social media channels: