A big setback for intra Afghanistan crucial peace talks

A big setback for intra Afghanistan crucial peace talks
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KABUL: A big setback has been reported for intra Afghanistan crucial peace talks in Qatar.

The US envoy for peace in Afghanistan expressed disappointment on Friday after the collapse of a planned meeting between the Taliban and a group of Afghan politicians in Qatar that exposed some of the deep divisions hampering efforts to end the war.

A 250-strong delegation of Afghan politicians and civil society figures had been due to meet Taliban officials in Doha at the weekend. The event was abruptly cancelled on Thursday amid arguments over the size and status of the group, which included some government officials attending in a personal capacity.

“I’m disappointed Qatar’s intra-Afghan initiative has been delayed,” Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special representative for Afghan reconciliation, said on Twitter.

“I urge all sides to seize the moment and put things back on track by agreeing to a participant list that speaks for all Afghans.”

The collapse of the meeting before it had even started, described as a “fiasco” by one senior Western official, laid bare the tensions that have hampered moves towards opening formal peace negotiations.

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