Representatives of the Taliban and of the Afghan government and civil society meet face to face for the first time in Doha, Qatar, after nearly twenty years of war. The direct negotiations, which were delayed for months over a prisoner swap proposed in the earlier U.S.-Taliban deal, begin after the Afghan government completes the release of five thousand Taliban prisoners. During opening remarks, both sides express eagerness to bring peace to Afghanistan and establish a framework for Afghan society after U.S. troops withdraw. The government pushes for a cease-fire, while the Taliban reiterates its call for the country to be governed through an Islamic system.