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Posted On: 19 February 2012 12:51 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:11 pm

Top US envoy 'met Taliban leaders in Qatar'

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America’s special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan has held a meeting with Taliban leaders in Qatar, an Afghan official revealed on Wednesday, in a further tentative step towards formal negotiations with the insurgents. Marc Grossman held the talks with Taliban representatives late last month in Qatar, where a team of Taliban diplomats is based ahead of the opening of a political office there to host negotiations between America, the insurgents and the Afghan government. “I can confirm that Mr Grossman met with the Taliban representatives in Qatar. When the president (Mr Karzai) was in Rome, Grossman came over to his residence and briefed him about his meetings with the Taliban,” said the senior official, who asked to remain anonymous. Representatives from the former Taliban regime assembled in Qatar last month, with the aim of opening the official office later this year “to come to an understanding with other nations”. The delegation includes Tayeb Agha, former secretary to Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, who has acted as go-between with American and German diplomats for more than a year. Mr Grossman’s meeting, if confirmed, would be the first known contact made between the Taliban and a senior, named member of the Obama administration since the start of the Afghanistan war over ten years ago. The Telegraph