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Afghan, Taliban Officials To Meet For Second Round Of Peace Talks

The Taliban office in Doha, Qatar.
The Taliban office in Doha, Qatar.

The second round of peace talks between Afghan and Taliban officials will be held on July 30.

Mohammad Ismail Qasimyar, an official with Kabul's High Peace Council, said on July 24 the two sides are still deciding details of the talks, including who will attend them and where they will be held, though China is a possible venue.

The High Peace Council is charged with negotiating a settlement with the Taliban.

Qasimyar said Kabul will urge the Taliban to agree to a temporary cease-fire in the fighting, which has been ongoing since a U.S.-led invasion ousted the Taliban in 2001.

"We are willing to enter into a cease-fire and it would be a good test to see if fighters on the ground are willing to accept a cease-fire directive from the Taliban leadership," he said.

The first round of face-to-face talks took place in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, on July 7, under the auspices of U.S. and Chinese officials.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has made peace talks with the Taliban a priority of his government.

With reporting by Reuters and AP