Taliban say stance unchanged on controversial sign and flag at new office

The Taliban say they have not changed their stance on using their formal name and flag at a new political office in Qatar, even though both have been removed from display at the building that was set up in an attempt to bring about peace talks after nearly 12 years of war.

The statement threatens to further complicate efforts to bring both sides to the table.

Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said Monday in a statement that reports his office agreed to remove the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan" flag and sign — after they provoked outrage from Afghanistan's government — were "baseless and fabricated."

Shaheen says the Taliban's stance hadn't changed on the use of both, which critics said made the office akin to a formal embassy than a political office.