Manama: Qatar has welcomed the opening of an office by the Taliban in its capital, Doha “to facilitate efforts to hold talks with the concerned parties to achieve security and peace in Afghanistan.”
A spokesperson for the Qatari foreign ministry expressed Qatar’s welcoming stance in a statement to the Qatar News Agency (QNA) on Monday evening following the release by the White House of a statement on the talks between US President Barack Obama and his Afghani counterpart Hamid Karzai in Washington.
The spokesperson said that Qatar was keen on supporting all moves to secure a comprehensive and durable peace in Afghanistan and on achieving unity between all the segments of its people.
According to the statement, Obama and Karzai “said that they would support an office in Doha for the purpose of negotiations between the High Peace Council and the authorised representatives of the Taliban.”
“In this context, the leaders called on the armed opposition to join a political process, including by taking those steps necessary to open a Taliban office. They urged the government of Qatar to facilitate this effort,” the statement said.
Both presidents agreed that “Afghan-led peace and reconciliation is the surest way to end violence and ensure lasting stability of Afghanistan and the region.”
“Noting progress in the process of peace and reconciliation, they stressed the importance of accelerating efforts, including by countries in the region that have a role to play in support of the Afghan peace process. Through the High Peace Council, the Afghan Government will intensify its efforts to promote the peace process,” the statement said.
The two presidents insisted that the outcomes of peace and reconciliation “must respect the historic achievements that Afghanistan has made over the past decade, including protecting the rights that all citizens of Afghanistan, both men and women, guaranteed under the constitution.”
“As a part of the outcome of any process, the Taliban and other armed opposition groups must end violence, break ties with Al Qaida, and accept Afghanistan’s constitution,” the statement said.