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Abdullah hopes Doha peace talks will lead to direct negotiations between govt, Taliban

Abdullah hopes Doha peace talks will lead to direct negotiations between govt, Taliban

Kabul: Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah on Monday welcomed the intra-Afghan summit in Doha and hoped that it would result in direct talks between the government and Taliban in an effort to end the nearly two-decades-long civil war and establishing peace in the country.

“It is expected that the meeting will lead to direct talks between the two sides including the government of Afghanistan and it will lead to peace,” TOLOnews quoted Abdullah as saying while speaking at the Council of Ministers meeting.

Over 50 delegates from the Afghan government and 17 representatives of the Taliban on Monday resumed dialogues on the second day of the inter-Afghan summit in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

Jointly organised by Qatar and Germany, the event is seen as an icebreaker that could eventually lead to a peace settlement in the country engulfed in war for the past 18 years.

The Taliban, which has repeatedly refused to negotiate with the West-backed government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, agreed to join the summit on the condition that the attendees will do so in a personal capacity.

During the first day of the meeting, the two sides deliberated on issues like women’s rights, press freedom, ceasefire, withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan and protection of civilians, according to few delegates interviewed by TOLOnews.

Although the first day of the dialogue was described as positive by both parties, they were overshadowed by a blast carried out by the Taliban in Ghazni province that claimed the lives of at least eight people and left 50 others injured.

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