Taliban officials meet a group of Afghan delegates in Doha as part of diplomatic efforts to end years of violence and build trust between Afghan civilians and the insurgent group.
Peace may be closer than ever in Afghanistan, as the Taliban and the US get ready for talks on June 29 with the aim of reaching a peace deal before the country’s presidential elections in September.
Will the son of the legendary 'Lion of Panjshir' help to shape Afghanistan's future?
The meeting in Russia is another attempt to negotiate peace in a country that has been ravaged by decades of war.
The move comes during increased diplomatic efforts to revive stalled talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, following the failure of a planned get-together in the Qatari capital Doha last month.
The four-day consultative grand assembly, known as a "loya jirga", is an attempt by President Ashraf Ghani to influence peace talks between the United States and the Taliban, which the militants have excluded his government from.
Afghan politics has always been a complicated and ruthless affair, yet Karzai has withstood the turbulence like no leader before him.
Foreign invaders and elite urban Afghans have long underestimated or ignored rural Afghanistan, and they have all paid the price of doing so.
With the US continuing talks with the Taliban and failing to include the legitimate Afghan government, and other countries also battling to court the group, the reconciliation process is beginning to look like a game of economic geopolitics.
New book by Dutch journalist Bette Dam claims "US, and almost everyone else, had it wrong" and that "the Pentagon and the CIA knew little about Mullah Mohammad Omar [Taliban founder]."
The Taliban co-founder joined the latest round of talks with the US, renewing hopes for the peace-keeping initiative, but there are key structural questions that linger in the backdrop, says the movement’s spokesman, Sohail Shaheen.
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar's lead role in peace talks with US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is considered significant because of his stature within the Taliban, which controls or holds sway over nearly half of Afghanistan.
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