U.S.: Closing of Taliban office in Qatar won't deter peace efforts

July 10, 2013 at 8:37 AM

WASHINGTON, July 10 (UPI) -- The temporary closing of the Taliban office in Qatar won't deter efforts to negotiate an end to the war in Afghanistan, a U.S. spokeswoman said.

Jennifer Psaki of the State Department confirmed the Taliban office set up for peace talks has been shuttered but said the United States is hopeful "we can get it back on track."

"We're going to continue to work through the bumpy road," Psaki said.

A diplomat in Qatar told The Wall Street Journal the Taliban's political staff is "waiting for instructions" from the overall leadership, adding that activity wound down due to the start of Ramadan.

The June 18 opening of a Taliban office in Qatar was blasted by Afghan President Hamid Karzai who called it a de facto Taliban embassy.

Karzai also lashed out at the United States, accusing it of trying to bypass his government in negotiations.

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