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Afghanistan's Karzai heads to Qatar to discuss peace with Taliban

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai will travel to Qatar within days to discuss peace negotiations with the Taliban, the Afghan Foreign Ministry announced on Sunday, as efforts intensify to find a negotiated solution to the war, now in its 12th year.

Karzai's trip to Qatar would represent the first time the Afghan president has discussed the Taliban peace process in Qatar, and comes after years of stalled discussions with the United States, Pakistan and the Taliban.

In the past, he has accused the United States of holding talks with the Taliban, without Afghan government involvement.

The trip will involve talks about the creation of a Taliban political office in the country's capital, Doha.

"President Karzai's trip is the result of an invitation from the Qatari Emir and will involve discussions about mutual cooperation and the (Taliban) peace process", Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Janan Mosazai said at a press conference on Sunday.

Karzai was expected to travel to Qatar within a week, a senior Afghan official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters.

Efforts to find a negotiated settlement to the decade-long war in Afghanistan

The Taliban have been waging a bloody decade-long war against America and coalition nations in Afghanistan.

(Reporting by Hamid Shalizi; Writing by Dylan Welch; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130324/afghanistans-karzai-heads-qatar-discuss-peace-taliban