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US ‘to hold direct talks with Taliban’ – officials

The Taliban has just opened a political office in Qatar, and senior officials believe it’s a step closer to abandoning terrorism.

The Taliban is opening a political office in Doha.
The Taliban is opening a political office in Doha.
Image: Makushin Alexey via Shutterstock

THIS AFTERNOON, US officials said American representatives will begin formal meetings with the Taliban in a few days at the group’s new office opening in Qatar.

Senior Obama administration officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak on the record, described the Taliban’s move to open a political office Tuesday in Doha as a stepping stone to full Taliban renouncement of al-Qaida.

In Doha, a Qatari official confirmed that the Taliban office was open.

The administration officials say the US and Taliban representatives will hold bilateral meetings, then it is expected that Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s High Peace Council will follow up with its own talks a few days later.

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

More: Pakistan tries to smash taboos with its own version of Glee

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