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Afghan Talks Agree On Reopening Taliban Political Office

FILE -- Muhammad Naeem (L), a spokesman for the Office of the Afghan Taliban speaks during the opening of the Taliban Afghanistan Political Office in Doha (June, 2013).

Afghan government officials and members of the Taliban have agreed that insurgents should open a political office for negotiations.

A statement issued on May 4 after two days of talks in Qatar outlined the agreements reached by some 40 delegates to a "nonofficial meeting" bringing together Taliban representatives, Afghan government figures, and UN representatives.

Delegates agreed the Taliban should reopen a political office in Qatar that caused a dispute in 2013 when it was briefly inaugurated as part of a previous, failed attempt to start negotiations.

However, a Taliban delegate told Reuters there was no progress on the main obstacle to a cease-fire -- the continued presence of around 10,000 U.S. military trainers and counterterrorism forces.

The Taliban said it would not stop fighting until all foreign forces left Afghanistan, he said.

The talks ended on May 3 with pledges to hold a similar dialogue in the future.

New Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has made negotiations a priority since taking office last year.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP