Taliban Prisoners at Guantanamo Accept Transfer to Qatar - USATODAY.com
Five top Taliban leaders held by the U.S. in the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, told a visiting Afghan delegation they agree to a proposed transfer to the tiny Gulf state of Qatar, Afghan officials said Saturday.
The U.S. has not yet agreed to the transfer but is considering it as an incentive for the Taliban to participate in peace talks to end the decade-long war in Afghanistan and allow American troops to come home without the country descending into further chaos.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai initially opposed sending the prisoners to Qatar instead of home to Afghanistan. But their consent could pave the way for a deal if the Obama administration follows through with their release over the opposition of some in Congress.
Karzai sent the delegation this past week to visit the Taliban fighters, who agreed to the transfer as long as they would be reunited with their families in Qatar, said two senior Afghan officials.
A former U.S. official familiar with the negotiations over the prisoners confirmed the Afghan delegation’s visit.