The Afghan Taliban say they have reached a preliminary deal with the Gulf state of Qatar to open a liaison office there that could have a key role in peace talks to end more than a decade of war.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said on Tuesday the liaison office will conduct negotiations with the international community. He did not say when it would open.

Mujahid’s statement says the Taliban held negotiations with Qatar’s government and other “relevant parties” about the office’s opening.

For the U.S. and its allies, the idea of a Taliban political office in Doha has become the central element in efforts to draw the insurgents into peace talks.

More In: International | News