Taliban to open office for peace talks

Associated Press
Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, left, shakes hands with NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen during a ceremony at a military academy on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, June 18, 2013. Karzai announced at the ceremony on Tuesday that his country's armed forces are taking over the lead for security nationwide from the U.S.-led NATO coalition. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban's spokesman says the group will open a political office in Qatar to try to find a political solution to the war in Afghanistan.

The spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press on Tuesday that the group opposes the use of Afghan soil to threaten other countries and supports the negotiating process.

Those two statements have been a key demand of both the U.S. and Afghan governments before talks can begin.

There have been unconfirmed reports that the Doha office opening will be announced in the Gulf state later Tuesday.

Zabiullah said that the Taliban are willing to use all legal means to end what they called the occupation of Afghanistan.

He thanked the leader of Qatar for allowing them to open the office.

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