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Afghan officials, Taliban to start peace talks in September

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Peace talks between warring Afghan sides will begin in September said the country’s top peace negotiator on Thursday in Kabul, a crucial diplomatic process needed to end about two decades of war in Afghanistan.

Abdullah Abdullah, a prominent politician and the chairman High Council for National Reconciliation said the Afghan officials were ready to hold talks with the Taliban from September.

His comments come at a time when prospect of peace talks between were looking bleak over the issue of last batch of Taliban prisoner release.

US President Donald Trump’s team has been pushing both sides to resolve difference and sit across the negotiating table, paving way to end one of America’s longest war.

Meanwhile the US State Department offered a $5 million reward Wednesday for information toward locating and freeing two Americans kidnapped in Afghanistan.

Paul Overby, 77, disappeared in 2014 in Khost near the Pakistan border as he was researching a book on the Afghan people.

His wife said in 2017 that he disappeared as he was trying to arrange to interview the head of the Haqqani network, an arm of the Taliban.

The second man, Paul Frerichs, 58, was kidnapped in February 2020 after spending a decade in the country working on construction projects.

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