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Kabul and Taliban in secret peace talks

The Associated Press reported that the talks with the Afghan High Peace Council and Taliban leaders have so far remained informal.

Taliban Qatar officeEnlarge
Guests arrive for the opening ceremony of the new Taliban political office in Doha on June 18, 2013. (Faisal Al-Timmi/AFP/Getty Images)

The Taliban and the Afghan government have recently been holding secret peace talks.

The Associated Press reported that the talks with the Afghan High Peace Council and Taliban leaders have so far remained informal.

It is still unclear as to which officials had met and what they had discussed but that "some individuals (on the peace council) have met Taliban on an individual basis."

The talks are likely aimed at agreeing to conditions for more formal talks about how to end the now 12-year-long war.

The Afghan government has said that it opposes strict pre-conditions for negotiations. In particular, the Taliban have said they will not begin the talks until they are able to fly their flag at their office in Qatar.

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The Taliban closed their Qatar political office last month after a row over their flag, which says "the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan."

The flag displeased the current government in Kabul and the office was abruptly shuttered.

Details on the talks are slim but they likely center around the role of the Taliban in Afghanistan's future and the fate of Taliban prisoners in Afghan jails.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/afghanistan/130805/kabul-and-taliban-secret-peace-talks