Reliable sources told TOLOnews on Tuesday that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and US President Donald Trump have discussed the issue of closing the Taliban’s office in Doha, Qatar.
Should this happen, it’s not clear where the Taliban leaders, who work out of the office, will go.
The UK’s Guardian newspaper meanwhile reported that Trump discussed the issue with Ghani in a bid to get the Afghan president to agree to the closure.
According to this report, Ghani is said to be considering the proposal.
An estimated 36 Taliban leaders are stationed in Doha, in what the insurgent group calls its political office.
Both the Saudi and Emirati monarchies have called for the closure of this office since its establishment in 2011.
The Guardian reported that a request to close the office would have to be formally initiated by Kabul but that the ultimate decision lies with the Qatari government.
Meanwhile, Yamamoto Tadamichi, the UN secretary general’s special representative to Afghanistan, told the UN Security Council on Monday night that the security situation in the country remains a serious concern.
He pointed out that the Taliban continues to resist appeals to negotiate with the Afghan government.
He said that at the current rate of death due to conflict, by 2020, tens of thousands more Afghans will have been killed.
He said all sides agree that there is no military solution to the conflict but that there are now renewed efforts to work towards peace and some countries in the region are actively working to assist in this process.
“I am convinced that a political settlement is possible,” he said.
“I appeal to the countries in the region to conduct a profound reassessment of their strategic interest and renew work towards a viable peace process leading to an Afghan owned solution to the conflict.”