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Mr. Karzai initially had opposed plans to open a Taliban office in Qatar. Last month, his government recalled its ambassador to Qatar for consultations following reports that the Taliban were planning to open an office.

Mr. Karzai has since had a change of heart. Last week, he said his government would support a plan to open a Taliban office in Qatar, though it would prefer the office to be located in Saudi Arabia or Turkey.

Michael Semple, a fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, said one statement by the Taliban does not cut out the Afghan government.

“After all it is rather difficult to imagine an Afghan political process without the government. However, statements of commitment to an Afghan-led process can sometimes be rhetorical instead of substantive,” he said.

The Taliban’s spokesman demanded the release of five Afghan prisoners at the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who are believed to have ties to the Taliban.

The Taliban abducted Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, 25, in 2009.

The Afghan government has not commented on the Taliban statement.

Mr. Semple said the Taliban announcement was “bad news for al Qaeda and for those who have made a career out of permanent jihad.”

“Nobody quite knows what the formula for mediation will be, but the most optimistic way to look at this development is that this is the beginning of the end,” he added.

Guy Taylor contributed to this report.