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Dublin: 8 °C Friday 25 April, 2014

Afghanistan suspends talks with US over name of new Taliban office

The Taliban’s decision to use the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan name on its new office in Qatar has prompted the ire of the Afghan government.

The Taliban office in Doha
The Taliban office in Doha
Image: Osama Faisal/AP/Press Association Images

AFGHANISTAN HAS SUSPENDED talks with the US on a deal that would allow US troops to remain in the country after 2014, officials said, in a clash over proposed talks with the Taliban.

“There is a contradiction between what the US government says and what it does regarding Afghanistan peace talks,” Aimal Faizi, President Hamid Karzai’s spokesman, told AFP.

“The president suspended the BSA (Bilateral Security Agreement) talks with the US this morning.”

The row centred on the Taliban office, which opened in Qatar yesterday, using the title “Islamic Emirate Of Afghanistan”, the formal name of the Taliban government from 1996 until they were toppled in 2001.

“The president is not happy with the name of the office. We oppose the title the ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’ because such a thing doesn’t exist,” Faizi said. “The US was aware of the president’s stance.”

President Barack Obama had welcomed planned Taliban-US talks in Qatar as an “important first step”. But he warned of a bumpy road ahead as NATO troops enter the final stage of a 12-year foreign intervention.

- © AFP, 2013

Read: US ‘to hold direct talks with Taliban’ – officials

Read: Seven Taliban leaders killed after assault on NATO airport base

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