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Qatar Office: US Says Ball in Taliban Court

Victoria Nuland State Department spokesperson

WASHINGTON – Expressing satisfaction over the Qatar visit of President Hamid Karzai, the United States on Thursday said it was up to the Taliban to take a call on opening their political office in Doha. “I think that there is no question in our mind that the Taliban understand very clearly what’s required if they want this office to open,” the State Department spokesperson told reporters at her daily news conference.

Victoria Nuland, however, refrained from commenting on any direct talks between the US and the Taliban. “I’m not going to get into the details,” she said, reiterating support for the Afghan president’s trip to the Gulf country. “We were supportive of President Karzai’s visit to Doha to strengthen cooperation between the Afghan government and Qatar to prepare for the prospect of Afghan-Afghan talks there, on the Afghan side under the auspices of the High Peace Council,” she remarked.

Whether the Taliban availed themselves of the opportunity was a separate issue, the spokeswoman said, adding the insurgents knew what they had to do, and the ball was clearly in their court if they wanted to see this office open. (PAN)


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