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Peace Talks With Afghan Taliban Expected To Resume

File photo of the Taliban office in Doha.
File photo of the Taliban office in Doha.

A high-ranking member of the Afghan High Peace Council says peace talks with the Taliban will begin in Qatar next week.

Musa Khan Hotak, the director of negotiations at the Afghan High Peace Council, told Radio Free Afghanistan this week the talks will take place at the Afghan Taliban's contact office in the Qatari capital, Doha.

Hotak added that representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Taliban will participate in the upcoming peace talks.

"Talks about negotiations with the Taliban have recently gained momentum," he said. "It is expected that representatives of the Taliban, Pakistan and members of the High Peace Council will take part in the talks. Our delegation is expected to travel to Qatar next week."

According to Afghan media reports, a Chinese government representative along with two representatives from Pakistan will attend the peace negotiations in Qatar.

The Taliban’s office in Qatar was closed shortly after being opened in early June 2013 because of protests by the pervious Afghan government led by President Hamid Karzai. His administration objected to the hoisting of a Taliban flag and an office signboard with the Taliban’s formal name, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, on the building.

Karzai said the flag and the sign appeared as if there was parallel Taliban Emirate in Afghanistan.

The apparent breakthrough in the Afghan peace process comes at a time when the bulk of NATO-led international forces stationed in Afghanistan are scheduled leave by the end of this year.

Mustafa Sarwar wrote this report based on reporting from Shar Liwal in Kabul, Afghanistan.