Qatar Says Hosting Dialogue With Taliban, Afghan Officials

Qatar said on Saturday it was hosting a dialogue this weekend between Afghan officials and representatives of the Taliban insurgents on ways to end the country's long war.
Taliban's official spokesman said the insurgents were sending an eight-member delegation to a conference in Doha held by the Pugwash Council, a global organization that promotes dialogue to resolve conflicts. But he denied any move towards negotiations.
Another Taliban leader, however, and the deputy head of Afghanistan's High Peace Council indicated that face-to-face meetings on the sidelines of that conference were planned.
Such meetings would be the first sign of life in weeks for a hoped-for peace process, but it was unclear whether they would lead to formal talks between the Taliban and the U.S.-backed Afghan government.