The Afghan government will not oppose the transfer of five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Qatar, a spokesman for President Hamid Karzai said on Sunday.


Spokesman Aimal Faizi told AFP that the prisoners had expressed their willingness to be moved to Qatar, and the Afghan government would not oppose the move as long as the detainees were not "transferred as hostages."

"A delegation (from the) national security council has met with the five prisoners in Guantanamo," Faizi said.

"Our responsibility was to make sure they would not be transferred as hostages."

The Taliban announced at the start of this year that they planned to set up a political office in Qatar, a move seen as a precursor to peace talks with Washington.

At the same time, the hardline Islamists demanded the release of prisoners from the US military detention centre at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. They demanded in negotiations with the US that the prisoners be sent to Qatar.