Qatar has agreed to support a controversial Taliban office in the country, including financially backing several of the group’s leaders moving to Doha with their families, Afghanistan’s Tolo News channel reports.
Seven Taliban leaders have already relocated to Doha to open the political headquarters, which would serve to facilitate peace negotiations with the United States and the Afghan government, Tolo reports.
News of a US-backed Taliban office in Qatar has been bubbling up since September, with the original story from UK’s The Times saying it would be open by the end of 2011.
Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, recalled his ambassador to Qatar last month in apparent protest at the move, but then agreed last week to the office’s opening, so long as his government is given a say in the negotiations.
Credit: Photo of two Afghan men courtesy of Basetrack 18