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Nobody Absent in Afghan-Taliban Negotiating Teams

AT News

KABUL: The second round of peace talks between Afghanistan and Taliban is going on in the Persian Gulf Arab State of Qatar, but they have so far held just a preliminary and a technical session.

Some media outlets had earlier reported that a number of negotiating members from the two sides were not present in the second round, but they are back now in Qatar’s capital of Doha, according to Afghan officials.

 “A few members of the Afghan negotiating team were absent due to some health problems, but they are now back in Doha and are joining their team-fellows,” Feraidoon Khozoon, spokesman of the high council for national reconciliation said on Sunday.

A source familiar with the ongoing negotiations, said that the two teams would probably hold another round of talks on Monday.

The source also confirmed that the absent members of Taliban team also arrived in Qatar, but the militant group says all their negotiators were present since the beginning of the second round of talks.

Mohammad Naeem, the group’s political spokesman, said Sunday that Mullha Baradar Akhond, head of their political office based in Qatar was also there.

The Afghan and Taliban negotiators began talking for the first time on September 12, but nothing considerable was gained in three months of talks.

The violence level is still high unlike people’s expectations for the reduction of violence amid peace negotiations going on.

The second round of talks began while the United States reduced the level of its troops in Afghanistan from 4,500 to 2,500.

The US drawdown was followed by different reactions in Afghanistan. Some believe that Washington’s military pullout was a good step based on a peace deal they signed with Taliban last year. But others criticize Trump’s act as irresponsible.

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