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Afghan govt team leaves for Doha to meet Taliban members
Afghan govt team leaves for Doha to meet Taliban members

Kabul, Feb 29 (TIWN) A six-member Afghan government team has left for Qatar where they will meet Taliban members after the militant groups signs the long-awaited peace deal with the US on Saturday in Doha, sources said.

The team, personally chosen by President Ashraf Ghani, is being dubbed as "a group to establish initial contacts" with the Taliban, according to Tolo News. This meeting will be the first between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

According to the group, a part of the agreement calls for the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners. America has wanted a meeting between the Taliban and representatives of the Afghan government over the issue. But Kabul has been apprehensive over the discussion as they are unsure whether the Taliban would be willing to discuss other issues as well with the government team.

The US-Taliban deal, which has been negotiated for almost 18 months between the two sides, is expected to be signed in Doha on Saturday. On the same day, the US and Afghanistan are expected to issue a joint declaration to emphasise American commitments to the war-torn country. US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg are expected to be in Kabul for the announcement of the declaration in the weekend.

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