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Ashraf Ghani speaks at the Council On Foreign Relations. Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani proposed recognizing the Taliban as an official political party in order to initiate peace talks, reports Reuters. Ghani made the comments at an Afghan-led peace conference where he also proposed a ceasefire, the release of prisoners, new elections and a constitutional review involving the militant group.

Why it matters: Having previously called the Taliban "terrorists" and "rebels," Ghani's shift in rhetoric breaks from the position of the Trump administration, which has asserted the U.S. has no interest in speaking to the militant organization. Meanwhile, the Taliban expressed interest in entering peace talks with the U.S. this month in an open letter to the American people, but has shown no signs of wanting to negotiate with Kabul.

What else: The proposal would require the Taliban to "recognize the Afghan government and respect the rule of law," according to Reuters. Ghani's speech also called on the international community to help initiate peace talks with Pakistan, which was recently added to the FATF's terrorist financing watchlist.

Go deeper: Peace has never been more elusive in Afghanistan

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - World

U.S. releases report finding Saudi prince approved Khashoggi operation

Photo: Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has released an unclassified report assessing that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) approved the operation to "capture or kill" Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

Driving the news: The White House also announced sanctions on entities implicated in the murder, though not on MBS directly. Officials also announced a new "Khashoggi ban" under which individuals accused of harassing journalists or dissidents outside their borders can be barred from entering the U.S.

About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says

Joe Biden speaks during an event commemorating the 50 million COVID-19 vaccine shots. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Nearly 1 in 5 adults and nearly half of Americans 65 and older have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, White House senior adviser Andy Slavitt said on Friday.

The big picture: The Biden administration has previously said it has secured enough doses to vaccinate most of the American population by the end of July.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: Employers mull COVID vaccine requirements — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategyPfizer begins study on 3rd vaccine dose as booster shot against new strains.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.