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in this Sunday, April 28, 2019 photo, Afghan National Army soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint on the Jalalabad-Kabul road, on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. President Ashraf Ghani is hosting a grand council of some 2,500 prominent figures on Monday, to agree on a shared approach to peace talks with the Taliban. But the gathering instead looks to further aggravate divisions within the U.S.-backed government, even as America makes progress with the insurgents in direct talks aimed at ending the 18-year war. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

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FILE – In this March 26, 2019 photo, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani speaks during a press conference with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan. Ghani is hosting a grand council of some 2,500 prominent figures to agree on a shared approach to peace talks with the Taliban. But the gathering instead looks to further aggravate divisions within the U.S.-backed government, even as America makes progress with the insurgents in direct talks aimed at ending the 18-year war. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)

KABUL, Afghanistan – The Afghan president is hosting a grand council of some 2,500 prominent figures to agree on a shared approach to peace talks with the Taliban.

But the gathering — known as a Loya Jirga — instead looks to further aggravate divisions within the U.S.-backed government, even as America makes progress with the insurgents in direct talks aimed at ending the 18-year war

President Ashraf Ghani hopes to showcase unity at the gathering of politicians, tribal elders and others. But Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, his partner in a unity government brokered by the United States after a bitterly disputed election in 2014, heads a list of prominent no-shows.

U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilza has held several rounds of talks with the Taliban, who refuse to negotiate directly with the Kabul government.

Source Link:
https://www.foxnews.com/world/afghan-president-holds-council-to-set-agenda-for-peace-talks

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