Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations
Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Douglas Alexander (Paisley and Renfrewshire South, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the potential consequences of the Taliban establishing a political office based in Qatar.
William Hague (Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Richmond (Yorks), Conservative)
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.