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Afghans Would Support Taliban Office In Turkey

Rangin Dadfar Spanta
Rangin Dadfar Spanta
The Afghan government would welcome any assistance by Turkey to open a representative office for the Taliban on Turkish soil, the Afghan national security adviser told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan.

In an interview on March 1 in London, Rangin Dadfar Spanta told RFE/RL the representative office could facilitate talks with the militant group. "In order to hold talks with the group," he said, "It is better if they have an address."

Spanta said Turkey was one of the "most trusted" countries for the people and government of Afghanistan. He was in London with an Afghan delegation headed by President Hamid Karzai.

The issue of opening a Taliban office in Turkey was first brought up during a regional conference in Istanbul last December.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the 70-member high peace council that is trying to broker peace with the Taliban said in Kabul that "Turkey had expressed readiness to be the center of talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban."

These developments follow a trip to Turkey last week by another Afghan delegation, headed by former President Burhanuddin Rabbani.

A joint press release by Rabbani, the head of the council, and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkey supported the efforts of the high peace council to bring peace to Afghanistan.

According to the statement, Turkey said it would assist the peace process provided the Taliban lay down its weapons.