Taliban closing Qatar office over flag row
Former Taliban fighters hand over their weapons (File photo used for illustrative purposes)
The Afghan Taliban are closing their Qatar office in protest over demands they remove a flag that labelled the group the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, according to a diplomat and a Taliban official, as reported by AP.
The office opened less than a month ago to facilitate peace talks, and has faced criticism for using the same white flag flown during the Taliban's five-year rule of Afghanistan that ended with the US-led invasion in 2001.
Both officials, familiar with the peace talks in the Gulf State of Qatar, said the office has been temporarily abandoned. They requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has protested the name and flag.