The Afghan Taliban are exploring options to relocate their political office to another Islamic country following the deadlock over the Qatar peace process, a Taliban official claimed on Sunday.
He, however, said the Taliban will not fully wind up the Qatar process and their representatives will still stay there.
The Taliban official, who had been to Qatar last month and requested anonymity, told The Express Tribune that the Taliban leadership is likely to appoint a new team of negotiators if a final decision to open an office in another country is taken.
The Afghan government recently indicated that they will be part of the peace process only if the Taliban agreed to open their office either in Turkey or Saudi Arabia.
Another Taliban figure told The Express Tribune that Taliban have established contacts with Turkey and their representatives had visited the country twice in recent months. He added that Taliban last visited Turkey in April around the same time when eight Turkish engineers had been captured after their helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing at Afghanistan’s Logar province following bad weather conditions. Afghan Taliban representatives are also frequent visitors to Saudi Arabia. While some had been invited for Umra recently more are likely to visit Saudi Arabia during Hajj, the official added.
Meanwhile, the Afghan government too on Sunday reiterated its position to back the Taliban office in Turkey or Saudi Arabia.
“Afghanistan has very close and friendly relations with Turkey and Saudi Arabia and that is why we support the idea if the office is opened in any of the two countries,” Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman, Janan Mosazai said. He however said the first priority of the Afghan government is that the Taliban should open office its office in Kabul.
He maintained that the government wants the Afghan High Peace Council to directly hold talks with the real representatives of the Taliban.
Karzai’s visit to Pakistan
Mosazai said the Afghan government has pinned high hopes on President Hamid Karzai’s visit to Pakistan later this month.
“We hope that this visit turns a new chapter of honest, robust and result-oriented cooperation between our two countries because our two countries share the same destiny when it comes to peace, when it comes to security, when it comes to stability and when it comes to economic prosperity and economic development,” the Afghan Foreign Ministry said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2013.
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You could put it that why OR may be you need to wake up and look at the reality rather than at numbers, the same 350000 + American and other western thugs are facing shameful defeat. By the way you need to work on your maths, 350+350 > 350.
@ Yusuf Before 1996 takeover of Kabul by Taliban, Afghanistan had a ragtag army, but now it has a better equipped ,fully trained and disciplined army of 350 thousands. Defeating the new Afghan Army will not be an easy task.
US & Allies will have to accept Taliban's conditions as they are likely the new super power now.