Kerry: Afghan peace process may be stalled

June 22, 2013 at 3:28 PM
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DOHA, Qatar, June 22 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters Saturday in Qatar he is unsure whether talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government will move forward.

Kerry said the office the Taliban recently opened in Qatar, seen as an essential step for the talks, will have to close if there is no progress, Sky News reported.

"We need to see if we can get back on track. I don't know whether that's possible or not," Kerry said at a news conference in the Qatari capital, Doha. "If there is not a decision ... to move forward by the Taliban in short order, then we may have to consider whether or not the office has to be closed."

Kerry is on a swing through the Middle East, visiting seven countries.

When U.S. officials participated in an opening ceremony Thursday for the Taliban office, the government of Afghan President Mohamed Karzai said there was a danger the facility could become the headquarters for an Afghan government-in-exile.

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