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FILE PHOTO: U.S. envoy for peace in Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad speaks during a debate at Tolo TV channel in Kabul, Afghanistan April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani/File Photo. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan sounded upbeat on Monday about the chances for peace talks starting between the Kabul government and the Taliban militant group but suggested further prisoner releases were needed first. Speaking to reporters, U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad also sought to play down an independent U.N. experts report that ties between the Taliban and al Qaeda remain close despite the Taliban’s pledge to cut such links. Khalilzad, who helped broker a Feb. 29 U.S.-Taliban... Full story

2 June