US-Led Afghan Peace Effort Gains Momentum


Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani has established a new leadership council comprising government officials, opposition politicians and civil society representatives that will manage national peace efforts and put together an "effective" team of negotiators for possible talks with the Taliban insurgency. Addressing the inaugural meeting of what is named the "Leadership Council for Reconciliation" on Sunday, Ghani said he hopes the effort under the government "umbrella" would lead to ending the bloodshed in Afghanistan. The United States has engaged the Islamist insurgent group in direct negotiations since late last fall to bring an end to the 18-year-old Afghan war, the longest-ever U.S. overseas military intervention. It is widely expected the peace process would ultimately lead to an intra-Afghan dialogue involving the Taliban and a cessation of years of hostilities.............

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