Afghan-Taliban peace talks an ‘opportunity for peace’

  • 12 September 2020Related Topics
Afghanistan Peace Grand Council chief, Abdullah Abdullah (C) arrives for the opening session of the peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, 12 September 2020 
Image caption Abdullah Abdullah (centre), head of the Afghan government’s delegation, called for a humanitarian ceasefire

The first-ever peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban are under way in the Gulf state of Qatar.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the talks a “truly momentous” breakthrough, while the head of Afghanistan’s peace council called it an “exceptional opportunity for peace”.

The Taliban did not mention a truce, reiterating instead that Afghanistan should be under Islamic law.

These talks follow a US-Taliban security deal reached in February.

Afghanistan has seen four decades of conflict, with tens of thousands of civilians killed.

Why are these talks historic?

These are the first direct talks between the Taliban and representatives of the Afghan government. The militants had until now refused to meet the government, calling them powerless and American “puppets”.

The two sides are aiming for political reconciliation and an end to decades of violence, which began with the 1979 Soviet invasion.

Categories: Afghanistan, Asia

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