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Taliban delegates arrive in Qatar for peace talks with US-Afghan officials

Doha, Fri, 27 Jan 2012 ANI

Doha, Jan 27 (ANI): A team of senior Taliban diplomats has reportedly arrived in Qatar in preparation for the opening of a political office and to host negotiations with America, and Afghan government officials.


The Telegraph quoted former Taliban officials, now part of Hamid Karzai's peace council, as saying that the envoys from the former regime have assembled in the past month and the first tentative talks could begin within weeks.


A Taliban declaration earlier this month that the movement would open an office "to come to an understanding with other nations" is seen as the most significant political breakthrough in ten years of conflict.


According to reports, the delegation was apparently granted safe passage to the Gulf state despite several members still being on a United Nations' sanctions blacklist banning international travel.


It includes Tayeb Agha, former secretary to Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, who has acted as a go-between with American and German diplomats for more than a year. He is joined by Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, a former deputy foreign minister, and Shahabuddin Delawar, a former envoy to Riyadh, according to Mohammed Qalamuddin.


Qalamuddin, the former of the Taliban's "vice and virtue" police, said the envoys were all well-educated, fluent in English and considered moderate, but committed to the movement.


He suggested all had travelled with the knowledge of issues related to the NATO and the United States. (ANI)


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