Afghan government ‘to hold talks with Taliban’

Afghan government ‘to hold talks with Taliban’

An Afghan official has said the government will hold its first-ever direct talks with the Taliban.

The meeting is expected to take place within the next two weeks.

The Taliban have been holding peace talks with the United States for nearly a year but have refused to meet the government, viewing it as an American puppet.

Abdul Salam Rahimi, Afghanistan’s state minister for peace affairs, said on Sunday that a 15-member government delegation will meet the Taliban in Europe, but did not elaborate.

US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who is currently visiting Kabul, tweeted that another round of “intra-Afghan” talks will occur “after we conclude our own agreements”.

He said it would include the Taliban and “an inclusive and effective national negotiating team consisting of senior government officials, key political party representatives, civil society and women”.

- Associated Press

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