John Kerry: Taliban Qatar office may close if Afghan peace talks fail


US Secretary of State John Kerry, left, speaks with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas at the World Economic Forum at the King Hussein Convention Centre in Jordan on May 26, 2013.



US Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters Saturday that if peace talks with the Taliban don't get "back on track" the group's new office in Qatar could be closed.

Negotiations with the militant group that had been set for Thursday in the Gulf were considered the best chance to bring all parties to the table, but the peace process stalled after Kabul voiced its opposition, saying it thought the Taliban office could be used as a government in exile.

"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 Qatar.

"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," he added.

It's unclear what steps will or can be taken to re-start the peace talks, which are seen by many as a necessary and practical step to ending Afghanistan's 12-year war.

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