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Afghan government says talks with Taliban delayed until April 19

Qatar (Wikimedia/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

The Afghan government says talks with the Taliban that were meant to start on April 14 in Qatar have been rescheduled to begin five days later.

Abdul Hadi Arghandewal, a member of the Afghan leadership council for reconciliation, said more discussions on the Afghan negotiation team were needed — pushing the start of the talks in Doha back to April 19.

The planned meeting has been seen as a significant step toward finding an end to Afghanistan’s long war and allowing the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country.

Government envoys are participating in talks as part of a larger group of prominent Afghans.

The Taliban says it will speak with government representatives but recognize them only as “ordinary” Afghans.

Arghandewal said the council will announce the members of the Afghan negotiating team in the next three to four days.

Taliban officials have confirmed they are aware of the delay but did not provide more details.