KABUL (Reuters) - U.S. and Taliban officials decided on Saturday to put their ongoing peace talks on hold for two days to allow for a meeting between rival Afghan groups to be held in Qatar, a Taliban official said.

The warring sides started a seventh round of peace talks last week, aiming to hammer out a schedule for the withdrawal of foreign troops in exchange for Taliban guarantees that international militant groups will not use Afghanistan as a base for launching attacks.

Agreement on the timetable has been elusive so far, but in a sign of progress the Taliban agreed on the sidelines of the peace talks to hold separate discussions with a group of Afghan delegates.

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