Afghan officials to meet Taliban

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Doha/Kabul

Afghan officials are set to meet Taliban members in Qatar on Friday ahead of a crucial agreement between the US and Taliban negotiators that will set the timeline for the withdrawal of American troops who have been fighting in Afghanistan for 18 years.
A six-member delegation of junior ministers and a senior security official will hold preliminary talks with some Taliban leaders in Qatar’s capital, Doha, two senior government officials in Kabul said, adding that the meeting was a crucial confidence-building mechanism between the warring sides.
A senior official in Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s office said Ghani was reluctant to send a delegation to meet the Taliban before the US-Taliban deal is formalised. “But he now realises that a meeting is crucial at this juncture. This golden opportunity cannot be lost,” said the official, requesting anonymity.— Reuters