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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Taliban militants who have been waging war on the Afghan government for more than a decade on Monday expressed a willingness to soften their position on a range of issues, an apparent shift that could eventually lead to peace talks.
French President Francois Hollande sought to boost ties in the Gulf Monday as he oversaw the signing of a warplanes deal with Qatar and headed to Saudi Arabia for a summit. Hollande was to be the first Western head of state to attend a summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) during the meeting in Riyadh on Tuesday. The summit comes at a crucial time for the six-nation GCC, with a Saudi-led coalition bombing rebels in Yemen, concern over the rise of Islamist militants and regional worries over a potential final nuclear deal with Iran. With Hollande in attendance, the CEO of French aerospace firm Dassault, Eric Trappier, signed the 6.3-billion-euro ($7-billion) deal with Qatari defence officials in Doha.