The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, received today, Sunday, both the head of the political bureau of the Taliban movement, Mullah Abdul-Ghani Baradar, and the head of the Supreme Council for National Reconciliation in Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah.

This came in two separate meetings at the Qatari Emiri Diwan in Doha, on the sidelines of the direct Afghan peace negotiations hosted by the Qatari capital.

Sheikh Tamim expressed his pleasure and satisfaction at the start of the peace negotiations, and wished that they would be crowned with success in achieving the aspirations of the Afghan people for national unity, progress and prosperity.

Both Barader and Abdullah Abdullah thanked and appreciated Qatar for hosting the negotiations, and for its supportive stance to bring peace, security and stability to Afghanistan.

Yesterday, Saturday, the first direct peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban began in the Qatari capital, Doha, in an effort to end a two-decade-old war.

On February 29, Doha witnessed the signing of an agreement between the United States of America and the Taliban that paves the way, according to a timetable for a gradual US withdrawal from Afghanistan and an exchange of prisoners.