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AFP
March 28, 2020

Afghan govt unveils negotiating team for Taliban talks

National

AFP
March 28, 2020

KABUL: The Afghan government has finalised a 21-member team, including five women, which will negotiate with the Taliban in upcoming talks aimed at ending Afghanistan´s 18-year-old conflict, officials said on Friday. The move is a crucial step in bringing the warring parties to the table and getting a floundering, US-led peace process back on track. Under a deal signed by the US and the Taliban last month, the insurgents agreed to starting talks with the Afghan government and discuss a possible ceasefire. Up until now, the Taliban have refused to meet the administration of President Ashraf Ghani, calling him an American stooge. In return for starting talks and other commitments, the US and foreign partner forces will withdraw from Afghanistan over the next 14 months. The negotiating team was supposed to be unveiled weeks ago, with the "intra-Afghan" talks with the Taliban meant to get under way on March 10 in Oslo. But Kabul has been gripped by a fresh political crisis, with Ghani´s legitimacy being challenged by his rival Abdullah Abdullah who has also proclaimed himself president.