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KABUL, April 29, 2019 (Xinhua) -- Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani inspects an honor guard during the first day of the Loya Jirga in Kabul, Afghanistan, April 29, 2019. Ghani stressed achieving viable peace in his militancy-battered country through dialogue in the much-awaited consultative Loya Jirga or traditional grand assembly of elders and chieftains inaugurated here on Monday. (Xinhua/Pool/Rahmat Gul/IANS) by .
Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani inspects an honor guard. (Xinhua/Pool/Rahmat Gul/IANS)

Afghanistan is hosting a virtual meeting of 19 representatives from nations as well as international organizations to discuss peace and build consensus on the reconciliation process in the country.

Representatives from the US, Russia, China, Pakistan, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other countries in the region were expected to attend the meeting organized by the Presidential Palace, reports TOLO News.

The meeting will be hosted by acting Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar.

Presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi on Sunday said the government was committed to starting the intra-Afghan negotiations as soon as possible to ensure peace, stability and an end to the war in the country.

But the peace process still faces significant obstacles.

Zalmay Khalilzad. (Photo: Twitter/@US4AfghanPeace) by .
Zalmay Khalilzad. (Photo: Twitter/@US4AfghanPeace)

On Sunday, the Afghan government revealed that one of the main reasons behind the delay in the intra-Afghan negotiations was its refusal to release 597 prisoners out of the 5,000 inmates that were to be freed as part of the US-Taliban agreement signed in late February.

These individuals are accused of serious “moral crimes”, and are on a list that was given to the government by the Taliban, said Ahmad Rashid Totakhil, who heads up the prisoner release process.

According to the Afghan government, 4,015 Taliban prisoners have so far been released and the process will continue this week.

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