Taliban Closes Qatar Office —Over Sign Brouhaha

Its flag didn't go over so well, either

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 9, 2013 8:43 AM CDT

(Newser) – The sign brouhaha continues. The Taliban's opening of a political office in Doha, Qatar, last month caused much gnashing of the teeth on the part of Afghanistan, all due to the placard outside of it, which established it as the "Political Office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan." As previously reported, the US, Afghanistan, the Taliban, and Qatar had initially agreed to call it the "Political Office of the Afghan Taliban." Though it was reported that the Taliban would make the change, the AP reports they're now shuttering the office, at least temporarily, in protest instead.

Arabian Business provides more background on why the sign is such a big deal: It raised worries that the Taliban's planned endgame was to use the office to set up a government-in-exile. But the plaque is only half of the fracas: The AP adds that Hamid Karzai was also upset with the white flag that flew outside it; the same white flag flown during the Taliban's five-year rule of Afghanistan.

This photo was taken on Thursday, June 20, 2013 shows the Taliban flag visible through a gap in a wall of the new office of the Afghan Taliban in Doha, Qatar.   (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)
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