KABUL: Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai says he will accept Taliban insurgents opening a representative office in the Gulf state of Qatar for the purpose of holding peace talks, although Saudi Arabia or Turkey would be preferable venues.

Karzai said if the United States insisted that the insurgents establish a liaison office in Qatar, "we are agreed."

Karzai's statement on Tuesday came despite the government in Kabul repeatedly emphasizing it would allow no foreign intervention in its plans to seek a negotiated peace with the Taliban.

Afghan media reports in recent weeks have speculated that the US and other foreign governments with a stake in the war were trying to strike a separate deal with the Taliban.

The Islamist group has not publicly responded to peace offers.