DOHA: A team of senior Taliban diplomats has arrived in Qatar in preparation for the opening of a political office to host negotiations between America, the insurgents and the Afghan government, British newspaper said in a report.

According to the Telegraph newspaper, the envoys from the former regime have assembled in the past month and the first tentative talks could begin within weeks according to former Taliban officials now part of Hamid Karzai's peace council.

It includes Tayeb Agha, former secretary to Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, who has acted as go-between with American and German diplomats for more than a year.
He is joined by Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, a former deputy foreign minister, and Shahabuddin Delawar, a former envoy to Riyadh, according to Mohammed Qalamuddin.

Qalamuddin, once chief of the Taliban's "vice and virtue" police, told The Daily Telegraph the envoys were all well-educated, fluent in English and considered moderate, but committed to the movement.

He suggested all had travelled with the knowledge of Nato and the United States, though added Taliban figures were also able to flout travel sanctions easily by using counterfeit passports.

Abdul Hakim Mujahid, deputy leader of the peace council and the Taliban's envoy to the UN at the time of the September 11 attacks, said one of his secretaries from New York, Sohail Shaheen, was also in Qatar.

The delegation was completed by Hafiz Aziz Rahman, the Taliban's third secretary in Abu Dhabi before 2001, who has lived in Qatar for several years.

"He played a very important role in this process," said Mujahid. "They have all moved there," he added.