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Stalled Afghan talks resume in Qatar for first time in months

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Peace negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government resumed in Qatar on Tuesday, their first meeting since talks stalled in April, both sides said.

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It followed a flurry of diplomacy that saw the UN’s Special Representative Deborah Lyons and US Special Envoy on Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad in Doha to jumpstart the moribund process this month.

“This evening, a meeting was held between the contact groups of the two negotiating teams and a comprehensive discussion was held on the organization and arrangement of the talks,” the Afghan government Peace Negotiation Team tweeted.

Taliban spokesman Muhamad Naeem tweeted a similar statement.

The Taliban have made huge gains across Afghanistan as the US prepares to pull out the last of its troops from the country by September after 20 years of war.

Peace talks between the government and the group have been stalled since April when the Taliban refused to participate in a summit in Turkey on Afghanistan’s future.

The US drawdown will finally end America’s longest war despite mounting fears of a Taliban victory.

There is a growing consensus in Washington that little more can be achieved in the conflict-torn nation.

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