The UK is committed to supporting Afghan-led efforts to achieve an inclusive and sustainable political settlement. The Taliban's statement at the start of this year expressing a willingness to participate in a political office in Qatar is a welcome step. President Karzai has also said he would support the establishment of a political office. The Taliban's statement suggests that they may have recognised the need to engage in a political process. However, this statement comes at an early stage in a reconciliation process and further steps are necessary for the Taliban to demonstrate their credibility.