Afghan President to visit Qatar for talks on peace process with Taliban

KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai will undertake a visit to Qatar within weeks at the invitation extended by emir of Qatar for talks on peace process with Taliban, the foreign ministry said on Sunday.

“President Hamid Karzai will visit Qatar within weeks,” Janan Mosazai, foreign ministry spokesman, told media persons in Kabul. “Talks with the emir of Qatar will include the peace process in Afghanistan and the opening of a Taliban office.”

Foreign Ministry Spokesman said that the visit is taking place at the invitation of the emir of Qatar.

Karzai has been an opponent of the idea of a Taliban office in Qatar until earlier this year, because of fears that his government would be frozen out of any deal between the US and the militants.

On the other hand, the Islamist militants have refused to negotiate directly with Karzai, and the foreign ministry stressed that it would only start negotiations if the militants “break all relations with Al-Qaeda and give up terrorism”.