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Taliban 'welcome peace efforts'

Taliban militants who have been waging war on the Afghan government for more than a decade have expressed a willingness to soften their position on a range of issues that could lead to talks on ending the conflict.

In a statement released today following two days of informal talks with Afghan government representatives in Qatar, the insurgent group says it wants "co-operation in all sectors with all countries, including neighbours, and welcomes the efforts of anyone in bringing peace to Afghanistan".

The statement on the Taliban's website indicates flexibility on previously-intractable issues such as the presence of the foreigners in Afghanistan and acceptance of a constitution.

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