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Taliban Ready To Open Political Office, Afghan Negotiator Says


Afghan President Hamid Karzai ruled out negotiations with the Taliban until the insurgent group had an address.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai ruled out negotiations with the Taliban until the insurgent group had an address.

A key government negotiator says that the Taliban is willing to open an office outside of Afghanistan, a step toward holding face-to-face peace talks with the Afghan government.

Arsala Rahmani, a senior member of Afghanistan's High Peace Council, said that "senior Taliban commanders" had "agreed on a political office."

The move follows a series of failed attempts at talks with the group by Afghans and their Western allies.

In November, Afghan President Hamid Karzai ruled out negotiations with the Taliban until the insurgent group had an address at which he could contact them.

Last week, Afghanistan recalled its ambassador to Qatar hours after an Indian newspaper reported that arrangements had been put in place for a Taliban office in the Persian Gulf state.

The report alarmed Kabul, which expects to be the base for peace talks.

compiled from agency reports

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