Afghan peace council to send mission to Qatar

By REUTERS
January 9, 2012 14:49

KABUL - A senior member of Afghanistan's peace-making body will travel to Qatar soon to gather more details about plans for a Taliban political office in the Gulf nation, the High Peace Council's adviser on international affairs said on Monday.

The Taliban said in a surprise announcement last week they had reached a preliminary agreement to set up a political address in Qatar and asked for the release of prisoners held by the US military at Guantanamo Bay.

"We want to see the office with our own eyes and that's why someone from the High Peace Council will be traveling to Qatar soon," Mohammad Ismail Qasimyar, a leading member of President Hamid Karzai's High Peace Council, told Reuters.

"We want to see how big the office is and other details."

The decision to open an office, after years of insisting the group would consider talks only when foreign troops had left Afghanistan, is seen as a crucial step forward for attempts to reach a negotiated end to a decade of war.


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