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Taliban opening Doha bureau to facilitate peace talks: Reports

New office hoped to aid Taliban-Afghan peace talks.

Taliban fighters jan 2012Enlarge
Taliban fighters walk with their weapons after joining Afghan government forces for a ceremony in Ghazni province on January 16, 2012. Some 20 Taliban fighters including a key commander laid down arms and joined the peace process in Ghazni province. The Taliban, ousted from power by a US-led invasion in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, announced earlier this month that they planned to set up a political office in Qatar ahead of possible talks with the United States. AFP PHOTO/Aref Yaqubi (AREF YAQUBI/AFP/Getty Images)

The Taliban is opening a bureau in Doha in order to arrange a fresh round of peace talks with the Afghan government, according to Qatar's The Peninsula

The new office for the militant Islamic group has the support of US President Barack Obama as well as Afghan President Hamid Karzai, both of whom hope it will help boost negotiations in a bid to end extremist violence in Afghanistan, reported FOX News

The negotiations between Taliban representatives and the 68-member Afghan Supreme Peace Council are expected to address, among other things, the status of foreign forces in Afghanistan, according to ArabianBusiness.

The Taliban opposes foreign military presence in Afghanistan. The US is set to withdraw its troops from the country starting next year, but there is a possibility that some US or coalition forces will remain in the country to help safeguard security there. 

Qatar is serving as a mediator on the issue. A foreign ministry official welcomed the new Taliban office there, saying the nation is "supporting any effort that will establish comprehensive and lasting peace in Afghanistan and help achieve unity among its people," reported ArabianBusiness.

The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of its Global War on Terror. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/afghanistan/130115/taliban-opens-doha-bureau-facilitate-peace-tal