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US and Taliban to Open Direct Peace Talks in Qatar 

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  #1  
Old 06-18-2013, 04:02 PM
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US and Taliban to Open Direct Peace Talks in Qatar

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The US is to open direct peace talks with the Taliban, senior White House officials have announced.

The first meeting is due to take place in the coming days in Doha, Qatar, where the Taliban have just opened their first official overseas office.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said his government was also sending delegates to Qatar to talk to the Taliban.

The announcement came on the day Nato handed over security for the whole of Afghanistan to government forces.

US officials said prisoner exchanges would be one topic for discussion with the Taliban, but the first weeks will mainly be used to explore each other's agendas.

However, the talks are on condition that the Taliban renounce violence, break ties with al-Qaeda and respect the Afghan constitution - including the rights of women and minorities.

US officials told reporters the first formal meeting between US and Taliban representatives was expected to take place in Doha next week, with talks between President Karzai's High Peace Council and the Taliban due a few days after that.

The level of trust between the Afghan government and the Taliban is described as "low".

In the past, the Taliban have always refused to meet President Karzai or his government, dismissing them as puppets of Washington.

Masoom Stanekzai, secretary of the High Peace Council, would not give a specific date for their talks but said they would take place "within days".

He told the BBC it was important that all sides should feel "confident and comfortable" at the beginning of the process.

"Eventually the talks should take place on Afghan soil. This is an Afghan issue. No-one other than Afghans can decide," he said.

US officials stressed that this was the first step on a very long road, adding that there was no guarantee of success.

After opening the "political bureau" in Doha alongside Qatari officials, Taliban representative Mohammed Naeem told reporters the group wanted good relations with Afghanistan's neighbours.

A Taliban statement said: "The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan doesn't want any threats from Afghanistan soil to other countries, and neither permits anyone to threaten other countries using Afghanistan soil.

"We support a political and peaceful solution that ends Afghanistan's occupation, and guarantees the Islamic system and nationwide security."

The BBC's Paul Adams in Washington says these were key statements that US officials were expecting to hear.

A US official said the militant Haqqani network would also be represented by the Taliban in Doha.

However, the senior US and Nato commander in Afghanistan, Gen Joseph Dunford, cast doubt on whether the group would make peace.

Speaking by phone from Kabul he told reporters at the Pentagon: "All I've seen of the Haqqani would make it hard for me to believe they were reconcilable."

In Afghanistan itself on Tuesday, Nato handed over security for the whole of the country to the government for the first time since the Taliban were ousted in 2001.

At a ceremony in Kabul, President Hamid Karzai said that from Wednesday "our own security and military forces will lead all the security activities".

The ceremony saw the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) hand over control of the last 95 districts in a transition process that began in 2011.

International troops are to remain in Afghanistan until the end of 2014, providing military back-up when needed.

President Karzai has expressed anger at previous US and Qatari efforts to kick-start the peace process without properly consulting his government, reports the BBC's Bilal Sarwary from Kabul.

There is also concern within the presidential palace that the Taliban will use the office in Qatar to raise funds, adds our correspondent.

The US has previously tried to negotiate with the Taliban, but never held direct talks.

In March 2012 the Taliban said it had suspended preliminary negotiations with Washington, citing US efforts to involve the Afghan government as a key stumbling block.

The Taliban set up a diplomatic presence in Qatar in January 2012 and US officials held preliminary discussions there.

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Old 06-18-2013, 04:07 PM
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Re: US and Taliban to Open Direct Peace Talks in Qatar

So,what exactly was the point in invading then

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Old 06-18-2013, 04:21 PM
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Re: US and Taliban to Open Direct Peace Talks in Qatar

Might as well just hand over Afghanistan right now, its just a matter of time anyways...... Fucking Bush Doctrine lol, we'll just wave the magic democracy wand and it'll be all sunshine & rainbows

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Old 06-19-2013, 09:56 AM
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Re: US and Taliban to Open Direct Peace Talks in Qatar

that makes sense after all the men and women who have died! Respectful!

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Old 06-19-2013, 03:23 PM
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Re: US and Taliban to Open Direct Peace Talks in Qatar

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However, the talks are on condition that the Taliban renounce violence, break ties with al-Qaeda and respect the Afghan constitution - including the rights of women and minorities.
good luck with that as it sounds like a mission impossible.

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Old 06-19-2013, 05:28 PM
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Re: US and Taliban to Open Direct Peace Talks in Qatar

It's been a long 12 years but what do you do? The biggest problem, our biggest problem has been our so called ally Pakistan. They're the ones who have been helping the Taliban by letting them use their country as refuge from the US military. Fuck them!

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Old 06-19-2013, 07:39 PM
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Re: US and Taliban to Open Direct Peace Talks in Qatar

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Originally Posted by kellyhound View Post
good luck with that as it sounds like a mission impossible.
accept the constitution we forced upon you and renounce your beleifs and well stop killing you.

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