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Pompeo to attend Doha peace talks

AT News

KABUL: Mike Pompeo, the U.S. Secretary of State, will be attending the opening ceremony of the first-ever peace talks between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban in Qatar, signalling the importance Washington pins to the talks.

The peace talks is scheduled to be held today (Saturday) in the Qatari capital city of Doha.

Afghan negotiating team left for Doha on Friday. Abdullah Abdullah, head of the reconciliation council will lead the team to attend the opening ceremony, according to government officials.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump called the talks as the result of months and years of serious diplomatic efforts.

Trump said Friday that his country played an important role to encourage two sides to sit behind negotiation table after being involved in the war for 20 years.

The US State Department confirmed in a statement that Pompeo would attend the opening of the intra-Afghan negotiations.

Taliban announced late Thursday that their negotiators would be ready to hold talks with a delegation from Kabul in Qatar after they confirmed that their six controversial prisoners released from Afghan jail, were flown to Qatar.

President Ghani’s administration had earlier said the six prisoners charged for killing French and Australian troops, would e transferred to Qatar where they are planned to be kept in a house arrest.

Paris and Canberra object the release of six Taliban prisoners and had already called on Ghani not to release them.

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