US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the efforts to advance the peace process with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Secretary Blinken conveyed Eid greetings and expressed his deepest condolences to the families of those lost in recent violence in Afghanistan, including in the horrific attack on a girls’ school in Kabul last week, the US State Department said in a statement on Friday.

The statement said: “The Secretary conveyed America’s steadfast support for the US-Afghan partnership and for Afghanistan’s security forces.”

The two leaders discussed the importance of national unity in Afghanistan and regional efforts to advance the peace process, the statement said.

“We support our partnership and Afghan security forces,” Blinken tweeted after phone call with Ghani.

DOHA TALKS: Meanwhile, negotiators from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban met in Doha on Friday and discussed the expedition of peace efforts.

The two sides agreed to continue their negotiations after Eid, Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem said. 

Abdul Salam Rahimi and Fatima Gailani represented the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan during the talks.

Taliban delegation was led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in the meeting. 

This new development takes place at a time that a temporary ceasefire is in place for the last two days amidst calls for its extension after Eid.

Both the Afghan government and the people as well as the international community have been pressing the Taliban to agree on a long-term ceasefire. The Taliban has not accepted the proposal and instead has come up with some preconditions for it.


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