DOHA: In a bid to restart talks with the world on ending the 12-year-old war, the Afghan Taliban on Tuesday opened an office in Qatar, saying it wanted a political solution that would bring about a just government and end foreign occupation.
Taliban representative Muhammed Naeem told a news conference at the office in the capital Doha that the Islamist insurgency wanted good relations with Afghanistan’s neighboring countries.
“We want to keep good relations with all of the world countries, in particular with our neighboring countries,” he said in remarks carried on Qatar’s al Jazeera television.
“But the Islamic emirate (Taliban) sees the independence of the nation from the current occupation as a national and religious obligation.”
The United States immediately welcomed the Taliban’s decision to open an office in Qatar and senior US officials said they hoped to meet with their Afghan foes within days.
“I think the United States will have its first meeting with the Taliban for several years in a couple of days in Doha,” a senior US official told reporters, dubbing the move the “beginning of a very difficult road.”