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Kerry Says Washington Working Closely With Karzai

Afghan President Hamid Karzai (right) with US Secretary of State John Kerry (file photo)
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says Washington is working closely with Afghan President Hamid Karzai after the Taliban established a political office in Qatar.

He said in New Delhi on June 24 that working with Kabul is "entirely appropriate and really required."

On the same day, Kerry's special envoy James Dobbins said in Kabul that Washington was outraged at the way the Taliban opened their office in Qatar which was intended as a first step towards an Afghan peace deal.

Controversially, the Taliban opened the office under the name the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan" and flew the white Taliban flag.

Many have interpreted this symbolism as representing a government-in-exile for the Taliban.

Meanwhile, the Taliban spokesman in Qatar says that the militant movement has not changed its stance on using its formal name and flag.

In a statement on June 24, Suhail Shaheen said that reports his office had agreed to remove them from their office in Doha were "baseless and fabricated."

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP

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