US: Ball in Taliban's court for talks

2013-06-22 21:19

Qatar - US Secretary of State John Kerry says a spat over the Taliban office in Qatar is the "very first test" of the Islamic militant movement's commitment to peace talks.

The opening of the Taliban office was heralded as the best chance of bringing the sides to the table, but the peace process ran aground almost immediately when Kabul objected to the wording of a sign with the name of the former Taliban regime.

The Taliban have removed the sign and lowered their flag but are divided over whether to keep them down.

Kerry says the US had hoped for an important step toward reconciliation, but "it's really up to the Taliban to make that choice".

He spoke to reporters on Saturday in the Qatari capital of Doha where he is attending separate talks on Syria's civil war.