Plans for Obama-Sanctioned Taliban Embassy in Qatar Moves Ahead on Schedule
What could go wrong?
The Taliban must be part of any resolution to the Afghanistan conflict, Qatar’s premier said on Saturday after Kabul recalled its ambassador to the Gulf state in protest at being left out of talks over the opening of a Taliban office there. “A solution in Afghanistan requires the participation of the Taliban in a way that must be decided by the Afghans,” Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani said on the sidelines of an Arab League meeting on the Syria crisis. “That requires talking to them,” he added, without being drawn on precisely why Afghanistan recalled its ambassador on Wednesday. A high-ranking Afghan official has said that while Kabul approved of the move, it was withdrawing its envoy in protest at not being consulted.
Afghanistan “has had brotherly relations with the government of Qatar, which it thanks for its cooperation on the reconstruction of Afghanistan,” the foreign ministry said.
“But regarding recent developments in Afghanistan and in the region, including Afghanistan’s relations with Qatar, the Afghan government has decided to recall its ambassador Khaled Ahmad Zekerya from Doha for the purpose of some consultations.”
An office of the self-styled Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan would be the first internationally recognised representation for the Taliban since it was ousted from power by the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
Just last year Islamist Faisal Shahzad, who was linked to the Taliban, tried to blow up Times Square.