Kabul: Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday broke off crucial security talks with the United States, angry over the name given to a new Taliban office in Qatar that is meant to facilitate peace negotiations.

The ongoing Afghan-US talks must reach an agreement if Washington is to maintain soldiers in Afghanistan after a NATO combat mission ends next year.

Karzai's decision to suspend the talks threatens to wreck US efforts to start a dialogue with the Taliban, which President Barack Obama had welcomed as an important step towards ending 12 years of war.

Explaining the suspension of the security talks, Karzai's spokesman Aimal Faizi said, "There is a contradiction between what the US government says and what it does regarding Afghanistan peace talks. The President suspended the BSA (Bilateral Security Agreement) talks with the US this morning."

He said the row centred on the Taliban office using the title "Islamic Emirate Of Afghanistan". That was the formal name of the Islamist movement's government from 1996 until it was toppled in 2001. "The President is not happy with the name of the office. We oppose the title the 'Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan' because such a thing doesn't exist. The US was aware of the President's stance," Faizi said.


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