Pakistan says will host peace talks between US and Afghan Taliban

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The next round of peace talks between the Afghan Taliban and the United States will be held in Pakistan as part of efforts to seek a political settlement of the 17-year Afghan war, the Pakistan’s information minister confirmed on Thursday.

Fawad Chaudhry give no further details.

In Washington, a State Department spokesperson said in an email that the United States had not received any formal invitation to talks in Islamabad, however, and that there was “no meeting to announce at this time.”

A Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid had said on Wednesday that the insurgents’ negotiators would meet their US counterparts on Feb. 18 in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad.

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The talks would come a week ahead of previously scheduled negotiations between the two sides in Qatar on Feb. 25. Mujahid said in a statement that the Qatar talks would still take place as scheduled.

Both Taliban and the United States hailed progress after the end of the last round of negotiations in Qatar last month.

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