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Abdullah Says Won't Attend Afghanistan's Planned Peace Loya Jirga

FILE: Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.

KABUL -- Afghanistan's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah says he will boycott a planned meeting of nearly 2,500 Afghan politicians and tribal, ethnic, and religious leaders aimed at discussing negotiations with the Taliban.

Abdullah made the announcement on April 14, about two weeks before the gathering, known as a consultative Loya Jirga, is set to be held in Kabul on April 29.

The United States has pushed for a peace settlement with the Taliban, with a new round of talks scheduled later this month in Qatar.

However, the Taliban has long refused to speak officially with Kabul, calling the government a "puppet" of the West.

Washington's push for a peace settlement comes ahead of Afghanistan's presidential poll scheduled for September.

In his statement, Abdullah said that the Stability and Partnership electoral ticket he is leading had "not been involved in any consultation neither at political parties and individual levels nor at the government level."

He also said that he did not see the gathering "helpful to overcome the current challenges in the country."

With reporting by Tolo News

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