U.S. Secretary of State says up to Afghans to determine political system during peace talks

DOHA (Reuters) - United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged warring Afghan sides to seize the opportunity to strike a peace deal at the opening ceremony for long-awaited negotiations in Doha on Saturday.

“The choice of your future political system is, of course, yours to make,” he said, adding that he hoped the solution would protect the rights of all Afghan and protect social progress, including the presence of women in public life.

“I cannot strongly enough urge you, seize this opportunity, he added.

The talks in the Qatari capital are aimed at ending 19 years of war in Afghanistan.

Reporting by Reuters Islamabad, Kabul and Dubai newsrooms; Writing by Charlotte Greenfield; Editing by Kim Coghill