DOHA, QATAR - A 50-member delegation of Afghan elites is in Qatar for peace talks with Taliban leaders, with the hopes of ending the 18-year-long conflict in Afghanistan.
The two-day summit, facilitated by Germany and Qatar, is an “historic opportunity for all of them to bridge trust deficit, which will help pave the way for direct peace negotiations between Afghan government and the Taliban,” said Asadullah Zaeri, a spokesman of the country’s High Peace Council.
The delegation includes politicians, top members of the council, representatives of women’s groups and senior journalists, he said.
Although both sides have emphasized that members of Afghan government are attending in their personal capacity, not representing Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government, their presence makes this conference different from the intra-Afghan conference in Moscow in April. At that gathering, the Taliban refused to sit at the table with anyone from the administration of President Ghani - an administration they insist is a “puppet” of the United States.
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