Afghan president names council for peace deal with Taliban

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan’s president has appointed a council for national reconciliation, which will have final say on whether the government will sign a peace deal with the Taliban after what are expected to be protracted and uncertain negotiations with the insurgents. The negotiations were envisaged under a U.S.-Taliban peace agreement signed in February. However, their start has been hampered by a series of delays that have frustrated Washington. Some had expected the negotiations to begin earlier this month. The Afghan president issued a decree late Saturday establishing the 46-member council, led by his former rival in last year’s presidential election who is now in the government.