KABUL, Afghanistan

The Afghan government has announced a 21-member committee that would hold direct peace talks with the Taliban.

Abdul Salam Rahimi, president’s special representative and state minister for peace, said former intelligence chief Mohammed Masoum Stanekzai will head the committee.

“President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan wishes this delegation success and hopes it would keep greater national interests, mutual values and Afghanistan’s principle stand in view during all rounds of talks,” Rahimy said in a message.

Earlier this week, in a major breakthrough, the Taliban agreed to send a delegation to Afghanistan to facilitate the thorny prisoners swap

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