DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Afghanistan’s warring sides have opened negotiations for the first time, bringing together the Taliban and delegates appointed by the Afghan government for historic meetings aimed at ending decades of war.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attended the opening ceremony, which was held in Qatar where the meetings are taking place. The discussions are important in the search for lasting peace that will also provide an exit for U.S. and NATO troops after nearly 19 years.
Pompeo indicated the talks are expected to be contentious. He says the outcome is entirely up to Afghans, and not the U.S. Issues at the talks include a permanent cease-fire, the rights of women and minorities and the disarming of tens of thousands of Taliban fighters and militias.