Taliban Prisoners Choose Qatar Over Guantanamo

Posted March 10th, 2012 at 12:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Five high-profile Taliban militants held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay may soon be headed for confinement in Qatar.

Senior Afghan officials told media organizations Saturday the five prisoners have given their consent to the transfer to the Gulf state. The transfer still needs to be approved by the United States, and several U.S. lawmakers with knowledge of the proposal have voiced strong opposition.

The possible deal is meant as an incentive for the Taliban to begin serious peace talks with the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

One of Mr. Karzai's representatives met with the Taliban prisoners earlier this week to secure their consent for the transfer.

The Afghan Taliban have reportedly begun preliminary talks with U.S. officials in Qatar and have previously announced plans to open a political office there.

The group has repeatedly refused to negotiate with the Afghan government.