The Taliban opened a political office in Doha on Tuesday, as Washington said it hoped to begin talks with its Afghan foe in the Qatari capital "in a couple of days."
Taliban representatives and Qatari officials opened the "political bureau of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan" in Doha, an AFP photographer reported.
"The office is to open dialogue between the Taliban and the world," Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told AFP in Kabul.
The United States welcomed the Taliban's decision to open the office.
"I think the United States will have its first meeting with the Taliban for several years in a couple of days in Doha," a senior US official told reporters, dubbing the move the "beginning of a very difficult road."