Kerry calls Karzai to ease anger on Taliban office

Associated Press + More

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry called the Afghan president twice in the past 24 hours to ease Hamid Karzai's anger over the way the Taliban announced the opening of their political office in Qatar.

The rift delayed the announced visit to the region this week by the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Karzai was upset that the Taliban used its formal name — the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan — making it look like a parallel institution to his government. Karzai also halted negotiations with the U.S. on a future bilateral security agreement.

State Department spokesman Jen Psaki said Wednesday that Kerry called Karzai and that Qatar issued a statement saying it's the Political Office of the Afghan Taliban not the Political Office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

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