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Afghanistan To Send Delegates To 'Exchange Views' With Taliban In Qatar

The Afghan president's special peace envoy, Mohammad Omar Daudzai, says the delegates will be finalized by April 10.

Afghanistan will send a government delegation for talks with the Taliban in Qatar, in a potential breakthrough in efforts to end the nearly 18-year war.

U.S. and Taliban negotiators have held several rounds of talks in the Qatari capital Doha, but the militant group has refused to talk directly with the Kabul government, which it sees as a U.S. "puppet."

Omar Daudzai, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's peace envoy, said on April 7 that a government delegation would go to Doha to "exchange views with the Taliban."

Daudzai said the government would finalize the delegates by April 10.

The talks are scheduled for April 14-15.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. envoy seeking a peace deal with the Taliban, said in a statement late on April 7 that "representatives of the Afghan government and wider society will participate" in an intra-Afghan dialogue in Doha next week.

Khalilzad has spent most of the past week in Afghanistan as part of an ongoing push for a peace deal.

Although the Taliban has not held direct talks with the government, it did meet powerful opposition politicians in Moscow in February.

Some of the prominent Afghan figures that took part in the Moscow talks are expected to be part of the government delegation in Qatar.

The Taliban has not yet responded to the announcement.

With reporting by AFP
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