For the first time in 17 years, Afghan leaders and the Taliban will actually try to talk – The Washington Post

Afghan security forces gather April 9 at the site of an attack near Bagram air base, north of Kabul. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. (Rahmat Gul/AP)

KABUL — Hopes are high here that a first-ever meeting Friday between the Taliban and a large delegation of prominent Afghan figures will prove a turning point in a U.S.-led peace process that has dragged on inconclusively for months.

The insurgent group, which has long refused to recognize the Kabul government and said it would not deal with Afghan concerns until U.S. forces leave the country, finally agreed to meet informally with a group of Afghans, despite the Taliban announcement of a spring offensive. As the meeting neared, however, signs of trouble emerged.

On Tuesday, the office of President Ashraf Ghani announced that 250 delegates — an inclusive but unwieldy array from across the … Read More on The Washington Post

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