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Doha delegates and Taliban agree to ‘speed up talks’

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KABUL: Negotiating delegations of the Afghan government and the Taliban have agreed to speed up the peace talks in Doha.

Najiya Anwari, a spokeswoman for the Afghan Ministry of Peace, told reporters on Wednesday that the leaders and members of the two delegations met in Doha on Tuesday evening.

“An agreement was reached on accelerating the negotiation process between the two sides and on the agenda,” she said.

The Taliban also confirmed the meeting and the understanding between the two sides. This is the second bilateral meeting of the peace talks after Eid al-Fitr.

The agreement comes as the US President Joe Biden wrote in a letter to Congress on Tuesday that Washington “fully supports” the UN-sponsored peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

In his letter, President Biden said he called on other countries in the region, especially Pakistan, to do more to support stability in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Zalmay Khalilzad, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan, is meeting with Afghan officials in Kabul as part of his trip to jumpstart the stalled peace talks.

During a meeting with Abdullah Abdullah yesterday, Mr. Khalilzad discussed peace efforts, bilateral cooperation between Washington and Kabul in the new chapter of cooperation after the withdrawal of international forces, Afghanistan’s regional relations and the latest political and security developments.

Mr. Khalilzad also met with Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani two days ago. According to the announcement of the President of Afghanistan, the new chapter of cooperation between Afghanistan and the United States of America in various fields, especially the continuation of political, economic, diplomatic and security relations, has been on the agenda of this meeting.

President Ghani called the new chapter of Afghanistan’s relations with the international community, especially with the United States, a factor in strengthening Kabul-Washington relations.

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