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First intra-Afghan talks expected to be held on August 16

AT News

KABUL: The first ever face to face meeting between the government and Taliban militants called as the intra-Afghan negotiations is expected to be held on August 16, the state-run RTA broadcaster reported on Monday.

The report said that the meeting would be held in Doha, the capital of the Persian Gulf state of Qatar, adding that former intelligence chief Massoum Stanakzai would lead the government team while Taliban’s negotiating team is to be held by Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanakzai.

Suhail Shahin, Taliban’s political spokesman said that the group was ready to hold talks a week after the release of the controversial 400 imprisoned insurgents from government custody.

President Ghani refused to release 400 Taliban prisoners after freeing 4,600. The government claims that these 400 people are big criminals.

But a Loya Jirga called last week, decided to release them and Ghani accepted.

the 3,200 member jirga called on Taliban to agree a lasting cease fire after their comrades be freed and sit with the government for intra-Afghan talks.

According to government and Taliban sources, the first round of talks is to be held in Doha, where Taliban negotiators sat with the US envoy for Afghanistan peace Zalmay Khalilzad for 10 rounds taking more than one year that led to sign a peace deal on February 29.

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