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Taliban says progress made at Afghan talks in Moscow

“Decent progress” was made during the first round of informal peace talks between Afghan politicians and Taliban leaders in Russia, a Taliban spokesman said on Thursday. However, he added that a breakthrough had not been achieved. The spokesman said that the Taliban wants peace in Afghanistan, but stressed that “the first step is to remove obstacles to peace and end the occupation of Afghanistan.”

While the Taliban has participated in several rounds of peace talks with US officials over the past year, it previously refused to meet with representatives of Afghanistan’s government, which it consider to be a US puppet regime. US and Taliban representatives have broadly agreed that a future peace agreement should involve a withdrawal of US and NATO troops from the country.

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