Afghan government meets with Taliban political chief as Afghanistan peace talks begin

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The Taliban and delegates appointed by the Afghan government have come together for historic talks aimed at ending decades of war and Bahrain has become the latest Arab nation to normalize relations with Israel. W T O PEACE John Aaron talked with Mario Mancuso, global affairs expert and former Pentagon official about how significant the Afghan talks are. I think they're very significant. Obviously, it's not an agreement, and there's a lot of work to do. But when you think of a recent Afghan history where every transfer of power has been at the end of a barrel of a gun The fact that they're deciding to talk. I think it's important and these air talks that are aimed to shape the Afghani political future. And so in that sense, I do think they're historic, but again, lots of difficulties that lie ahead. So what specifically is being talked about things like a ceasefire. So yeah, there's probably three key issues that are on the agenda. First is the one you mentioned a permanent cease fire. And obviously this is critical because the people of Afghanistan have suffered for many, many years and, you know, folks have died and been injured there. But the key point is a framework again for the governance of political governance of Afghanistan for the future of the Taliban, police said. They want an Islamic form of government What that means is unclear. But the tension there is issues of social equality, particularly for women and ethnic minorities. In Afghanistan, you might remember just 20 years ago, right women were not allowed to participate in politics. They weren't allowed to go to school. They weren't even allowed to leave the house without a male relative. And so these kinds of issues this tension and how it's resolved again peacefully in the context of discussions. That's what's critical and the forcing function here. Of course, is that The U. S and its allies are going to pull out. Troops have agreed to pull out troops, frankly as a condition of these peace talks by the spring of 2021. So that's the window in which they have to try to resolve this and those with the tension that they have to try to resolve.

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