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Peace talks opened in Afghanistan in Qatar, in search of the end of decades of war

The troop withdrawal began with the Taliban’s promise that they would negotiate with the Afghan government and would not allow terrorist groups to use Afghan territory as a refuge and stage for international attacks. But in the months that followed, some international observers questioned the Taliban’s commitment to that vote to abandon their allies in Al Qaeda and other similar groups.

The 20-member government team includes just three women – not five, as previously believed – pointing out how Afghan women have fought for equality since the Taliban was kicked out of power, despite various promises that often turned out. empty.

Their careers reflect the hard-fought achievements women have achieved in the patriarchal culture of Afghanistan – achievements they must now convince the Taliban to accept in a future system. One delegate, Habiba Sarabi, was the first female governor of an Afghan province. Another, Fawzia Koofi, a single mother, made her way to the vice presidency of the Afghan parliament; the third, Sharifa Zurmati, was a journalist before turning to politics and entering Parliament.

The Taliban team includes some of the delegates who have negotiated the deal with the United States. But they brought in a new chief negotiator: Mawlawi Abdul Hakim Haqqani, an influential religious scholar who has led the Taliban network of Islamic courts in recent years.

Guests arrived in Doha for the opening ceremony on Friday, September 11 – 19 years after the Qaeda terrorist attacks in the United States that led to the invasion of Afghanistan, a stark reminder that most Americans hope for a security and stable Afghan democracy remains unsatisfied and perhaps soon unsustainable.

However, Mr. Khalilzad – who was an adviser to the American government during the Cold War, as the United States funded insurgents to push Soviet troops out of Afghanistan – said there was still an opportunity for the country to reach a kind of balance.

“The Afghan tragedy was unable to reach agreement on a formula and then stick to it,” Khalilzad said. “There was a great victory after the Soviet departure, the Afghans had this great victory. The rest of the world has benefited greatly: we have become the only superpower, Eastern Europe has been liberated, Central Asia has been liberated. But Afghanistan continued this disintegration. The Afghans won, but they lost.

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