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Ghani names council for peace deal with Taliban

Afghanistan’s President has appointed a council for national reconciliation, which will have final say on whether the government will sign a peace deal with the Taliban after what are expected to be protracted and uncertain negotiations with the insurgents.

The negotiations were envisaged under a U.S.-Taliban peace agreement signed in February as intra-Afghan talks to decide the war-torn country’s future. However, their start has been hampered by a series of delays that have frustrated Washington. Some had expected the negotiations to begin earlier this month. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani issued a decree late on Saturday establishing the 46-member council, led by his former rival in last year’s presidential election, Abdullah Abdullah, who is now in the government.

The High Council for National Reconciliation is made up of an array of Afghan political figures, including current and former officials, and nine women representatives, one of whom was named Mr. Abdullah’s deputy. Mr. Ghani also appointed former President Hamid Karzai to the council but his predecessor rejected the appointment in a statement on Sunday.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 3:40:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/ghani-names-council-for-peace-deal-with-taliban/article32481134.ece

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