The U.K.’s Times newspaper said officials in Washington had agreed that the office could open by the end of 2011. However, the Taliban still had concerns that its representatives at the office in the Gulf state might be arrested.

A Western diplomatic source told the paper the office “will not be an embassy or a consulate, but a residence where they can be treated like a political party.”…

“There are two parallel worlds, the world of Kabul and Washington and the world of Taliban and their Pakistani patrons,” the official told the Times. “The latter thinks of its impending victory over fragmented Kabul and an exhausted international community, whereas the former engages in wishful thinking such as finding compromise solutions with the Taliban and convincing Pakistan and Iran to cease their strategic wars with the West by some nice declaration at international conferences.”

The paper said the White House refused to comment on the article.