There is cause for cautious optimism so long as troublesome elements within the government and the Taliban are not allowed to derail the process.
Washington-based Special Inspector-General for Afghan Reconstruction said in a report earlier this year that the country may not be ready for peace unless it finds a way to reintegrate Taliban fighters into society and combat "endemic corruption".
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani appoints a new acting defence minister to replace Masoom Stanekzai.
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