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Top Afghan Negotiator In Pakistan As Talks With Taliban Continue

Afghan envoy Abdullah Abdullah (center) arrives Islamabad on September 28.
Afghan envoy Abdullah Abdullah (center) arrives Islamabad on September 28.

Afghanistan's top peace negotiator has arrived in neighboring Pakistan as intra-Afghan peace negotiations are under way in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar.

Negotiators from the Afghan government and the Taliban have been locked in talks since September 12, but have been unable to agree a framework for the negotiations aimed at ending the 19-year war.

Abdullah Abdullah, the head of Afghanistan's High Council for National Reconciliation, a body that oversees the peace talks with the Taliban, arrived in Islamabad on September 28 for a three-day visit.

Pakistan is a key regional power broker with sway over the Taliban.

In a tweet, Abdullah said he would meet Pakistan's leadership for talks on the Afghan peace process and bilateral relations.

Afghanistan has long had troubled relations with Pakistan, which Kabul and Washington accuse of harboring and aiding the Taliban leadership, which Islamabad denies.

Pakistan claims its influence over the Taliban is overstated, but it says it's willing to do whatever is possible for peace in Afghanistan.

Under a landmark deal signed between the United States and the Taliban in February, foreign forces will leave Afghanistan by May 2021 in exchange for counterterrorism guarantees from the Taliban, which agreed to negotiate a permanent cease-fire and a power-sharing formula with the Afghan government.

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