Afghan government delegation arrives in Qatar for Taliban peace talks

Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation waves goodbye before departing from Kabul, Afghanistan to Doha, Qatar September 11, 2020. High Council for National Reconciliation of Afghanistan/Handout via REUTERS

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan government representatives arrived in Qatar on Friday ahead of peace talks there with the Taliban, said a spokesman for Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the government’s High Council for National Reconciliation.

Long-awaited peace negotiations are scheduled to begin in Doha on Saturday and follow a U.S. withdrawal agreement Washington signed with the Taliban militant group in February.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to attend a ceremony in Doha on Saturday to mark the start of the talks.

Reporting by Abdul Qadir Sediqi, writing by Alexander Cornwell, Editing by Catherine Evans