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New York Times editorial: An Opening for Afghan Peace Talks

The talks between representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban in Qatar over the weekend were a breakthrough of sorts. It has long been apparent, including to American generals who have spent more than a decade leading the fight in Afghanistan, that political reconciliation presents the only possibility of a solution to the conflict. While the two days of meetings produced modest progress and a productive tone, they were just a new and tentative start of what is likely to be a long and risky process.

The talks were informal and sponsored by a private group — the Pugwash Conferences, an international organization that won a Nobel Peace Prize — rather than undertaken directly by the Afghan government and the Taliban. Those who attended emphasized that they came as individuals and reflected their personal opinions rather than the official views of either the government or the insurgents.

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