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Afghan Taliban confirms opening liaison office in Qatar


08:20, June 19, 2013

KABUL, June 18 (Xinhua) -- The Afghan Taliban on Tuesday evening confirmed that the insurgent group set up a liaison office in the Qatari capital of Doha, to initiate talks with some international organizations, said a statement issued by the outfit.

Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban purported spokesman, said in the statement that Taliban will use the Doha office to keep contact with the United Nations and other international and local organizations as well as enhancing relation with the foreign countries.

Earlier on Tuesday, Afghan local media reported that the U.S. will conduct peace talks with the Taliban in Qatar. If the Taliban accept they will talk with the U.S., it will be the first direct talks between U.S. and the Taliban.

But Mujahid did not say if Taliban meet U.S. officials there.

Without providing details, Mujahid said the office will also be used for talks with some influential Afghans.

The Doha office will also be used to release information about the current political situation in Afghanistan, to the media outlets, Mujahid said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that a delegation of Afghan peace council will travel to Qatar for direct talks with Taliban.

Karzai and other leaders have repeatedly offered peace talks with the Taliban. However, the Taliban has categorically rejected the offer, saying there will be no talks until foreign troops leave the country.

The Taliban spokesman also thanked the Qatari ruling Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani for facilitating Taliban to opening the office.

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