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Taliban say Afghan peace effort figured in video talks with U.S.’s Pompeo

KABUL — The head of the Taliban’s political office in Doha and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a video conference to discuss the Afghan peace process, the Islamist group said on Tuesday, in a bid to remove hurdles in the path to peace talks.

Increasing violence and a contentious prisoner swap between the Afghan government and the Taliban have delayed talks that were to have begun in March between the insurgent group and a team mandated by Kabul.

On Twitter, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said Monday’s talks between the official, Mullah Baradar, and Pompeo discussed full implementation of the Doha accord and the withdrawal of foreign troops, as well as the release of prisoners, intra-Afghan talks and a reduction in fighting.

The Doha agreement, signed between the United States and Taliban in February, drew up plans for a withdrawal of foreign forces from the war-torn country in exchange for security guarantees from the insurgent group.

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