Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Donald Trump's special Afghan Envoy to visit India

Iranian officials said there will be no talks with the US as long as sanctions are in place Iranian officials said there will be no talks with the US as long as sanctions are in place
Kenny Thornton | 10 January, 2019, 17:37

Taliban didn't even agree to the proposal of including representation of Afghanistan government in talks held in the UAE which was attended by the US, Pakistan and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad will lead an interagency delegation to India, China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan from January 8 - 21, twice after skipping Delhi in recent months.

Speaking at a ceremony in Kabul, marking the 17th anniversary of the ratification of Afghanistan's Constitution, the CEO reiterated that the Taliban can only join the peace talks under the umbrella of the Afghan government.

They said they demanded the release 25,000 prisoners and they would free 3,000 but the United States were not ready to discuss that.

US Special Representative on Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad is set to visit India among other countries in the region as part of the process for an intra-Afghan political settlement, the State Department has said.

Iran says they are holding parallel talks with the Taliban. "The US goal is to promote dialogue among Afghans about how to end the conflict, and to encourage the parties to come together at the negotiating table to reach a political settlement where every Afghan citizen enjoys equal rights and responsibilities under the rule of law", a State Department's statement said.

Zalmay Khalilzad was appointed U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan in September 2018, but the Taliban say they do not think he has enough power.

"We would never announce any ceasefire until and unless we achieve major gains on the ground".

While denying it made a specific overture to Shamkani, the spokeswoman repeated that Trump is open to a dialog with Iran on "urgent national security issues" and wants Tehran to "make fundamental changes in their destructive behavior".

As peace talks gained momentum a draft agreement drawn up by the influential U.S. think tank RAND Corporation outlining the clauses for a potential peace deal was circulated among Afghan officials and diplomats in Kabul.

Man arrested for allegedly stealing roommate's $10 million lottery ticket
The officials were told at the Lucky Grocery Store, where the ticket was purchased , that it might have been stolen. He hit pay dirt with a ticket he thought was worth $10,000, and he shared the good news with his two roommates.

The US embassy in Afghanistan did not immediately respond to a request for comment, said the Reuters news agency. "But if that leadership of the Afghan state is not recognized and is not given value, then we may face a serious challenge", he added.

The remarks come amid increasing efforts by the Afghan government and the worldwide community, the United States on the top, on finding a political solution to the war in Afghanistan.

The document suggests that the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation shall end their current military missions in Afghanistan and withdraw all their personnel in three phases, over an expected period of 18 months, but adding that the USA civilian cooperation should continue in Afghanistan post deal.

"We believe that Pakistani position on Afghanistan is evolving and we believe that Pakistan now is trying to play a positive role in getting a peace process underway in Afghanistan", Zarif said as quoted by NDTV.

The Taliban and the United States have cancelled the latest round of peace talks after it was unexpectedly moved to Qatar, citing disagreements over the agenda.

Majority-Shi'ite Iran has long had close ties to Shi'ites in neighboring Afghanistan whose militias have fought the Taliban's Sunni militants.

According to the Afghan envoy, no final talks have taken place between the United States and Taliban thus far, which is why they are refusing to hold a meeting with the Afghan government. It has cost Washington almost $1 trillion and killed tens of thousands of people.

The United States sent troops to Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001, attacks on NY and Washington.

The US still keeps around 14,000 troops there as part of a NATO-led mission aiding Afghan security forces and hunting militants.

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