Afghan president to visit Qatar, discuss opening of Taliban office to facilitate talks

Afghanistan's foreign ministry says President Hamid Karzai will visit Qatar and discuss the possible opening of a Taliban office in the Gulf state.

An office for the militant group is expected to facilitate the peace process after nearly 12 years of war.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Janan Mosazai said on Sunday that Karzai will discuss the issue with the ruler of Qatar during an official visit.

Mosazai did not say when the visit will take place, but it is expected within weeks. The stated main purpose of the visit is discussion of opening a Qatari embassy in Kabul and trade and business opportunities.

Afghanistan has agreed the Taliban can open an office in the Gulf state if the group breaks all ties with al-Qaida and renounces terrorism.