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`Afghan govt,Taliban to hold talks in Saudi`

The talks in Saudi will be separate from the US-brokered meetings held in Qatar.



Riyadh: Afghan government officials and representatives of the country`s former Taliban rulers are to hold peace talks in Saudi Arabia, a Riyadh-based Afghan diplomat said on Monday.

"An Afghan government delegation and a Taliban delegation will hold talks in Saudi Arabia," the diplomat said on condition of anonymity but he could not give a timing.

The talks in Saudi will be separate from the US-brokered meetings held in Qatar and will be the first such talks to take place in the Sunni Muslim kingdom.

Taliban negotiators have begun preliminary discussions with the United States in Qatar on plans for peace talks aimed at ending the decade-long war in Afghanistan.

They have also announced plans to set up an office in Doha.

A member of the Taliban`s leadership council, the Pakistan-based Quetta Shura, said Sunday "the idea that the Taliban should have a point of contact in Saudi is pushed by the Pakistan and Afghan governments."

Pakistan was feeling "sidelined" from the US-brokered talks, he said.

The Afghan diplomat, however, said there were no plans for a third party to attend the negotiations in Saudi Arabia. "So far, there is no third party that will be present at the talks," he said.

PTI

From Zee News

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