Latest News – Ariana News https://ariananews.af Bringing Afghan News to the World Thu, 07 Feb 2019 15:13:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.9 Moscow Talks’ Declaration Has No ‘Executive’ Outcome: ARG https://ariananews.af/moscow-talks-declaration-has-no-executive-outcome-arg/ Thu, 07 Feb 2019 14:01:40 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=296839

The Afghan government which was not part of the two-day talks between the Taliban and Afghan oppositions in Moscow said on Thursday that the joint declaration – issued by the delegates at the end of the meeting – has no “executive” outcome.

The delegates on Wednesday issued a joint declaration in which they outlined a nine-point approach to promote intra-Afghan dialogue aimed at reaching a political settlement in Afghanistan.

However, in reaction President Ghani’s Spokesman wrote in a tweet: “The meeting of some Afghan politicians with the Taliban which was held in Moscow at the invitation of the Russian Federation, was not about peace talks but a political and academic debate on peace and a statement issued at the end of this meeting is the summary of the two-day talks and has not executive outcome on peace [process].”

 The joint declaration of Moscow Talks read that ensuring lasting peace, protecting the national sovereignty and promoting social justice, paving ground for complete withdrawal of foreign forces from the country, maintaining national unity, ensuring the principles of Islamic and its national values, preventing the occurrence of dark events of the recent decades in the country and mutual respect and understanding among Afghans were the among issues as the delegates have agreed upon in the meeting.  

Establishment of an official political office for the Taliban  in Qatar, removal of some Taliban leaders from the UN blacklist,  providing assurance to the international community that Afghanistan will not be used against any other nations, protection of educational, political, economic and social rights of women and freedom of speech in accordance with the Islamic principles, protection of political and social rights of the entire people of Afghanistan in line with Islamic principles were the other important points which were outlined in the declaration.

According to the declaration, the delegates unanimously agreed to hold the next round of talks in Doha, the capital of Qatar in the near future.

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Delegates Issue Joint Declaration at End of Moscow Talks https://ariananews.af/delegates-issue-joint-declaration-at-end-of-moscow-talks/ Thu, 07 Feb 2019 13:11:52 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=296832

The delegates who attended the two-day peace talks in Moscow on Wednesday issued a joint declaration as a move towards initiating an intra-Afghan dialogue to end the nearly two decades of conflict in Afghanistan.

The joint declaration which includes nine key points has considered the Moscow meeting as a major step towards promoting intra-Afghan dialogue.

The declaration read that ensuring lasting peace, protecting the national sovereignty and promoting social justice, paving ground for complete withdrawal of foreign forces from the country, maintaining national unity, ensuring the principles of Islamic and its national values, preventing the occurrence of dark events of the recent decades in the country and mutual respect and understanding among Afghans were among issues as the delegates have agreed upon in the meeting.  

Establishment of an official political office for the Taliban  in Qatar, removal of some Taliban leaders from the UN blacklist,  providing assurance to the international community that Afghanistan will not be used against any other nations, protection of educational, political, economic and social rights of women and freedom of speech in accordance with the Islamic principles, protection of political and social rights of the entire people of Afghanistan in line with Islamic principles were the other important points which were outlined in the declaration.

According to the declaration, the delegates unanimously agreed to hold the next round of talks in Doha, the capital of Qatar in the near future.

It comes as the Afghan government which did not participate in the meeting due to persistent refusal of the Taliban said the Afghan politicians who attended the Moscow Talks have no executive authorities and were not officially representing Afghanistan.

However, the High Peace Council which is a none-state organization has welcomed the Moscow meeting and described it as a sign towards initiating intra-Afghan dialogue.

The council noted that it hopes the Taliban also sit in negotiating table with the Afghan government.

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U.S. Envoy Rejects Reports of Timetable for Troops Withdrawal https://ariananews.af/u-s-envoy-rejects-reports-of-timetable-for-troops-withdrawal/ Thu, 07 Feb 2019 12:10:22 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=296828

The U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has rejected the reports in which claimed that Washington had promised to pull out half of its troops from Afghanistan by the end of April.

“In recent days, I’ve heard some individual Taliban officials claim we have a troop withdrawal timetable for Afghanistan. Today, they correctly retracted that claim. To be clear: no troop withdrawal timetable exists.” Khalilzad wrote on Twitter.

Earlier, Russia’s RIA news agency had quoted a Taliban official at peace talks in Moscow as saying that the United States had pledged of pulling out half of its troops from Afghanistan by the end of April.

It comes as the delegates attending the peace talks in Moscow on Wednesday issued a joint declaration in which they outlined a nine-point approach to promote intra-Afghan dialogue aimed at reaching a political settlement in Afghanistan.

The delegates unanimously agreed to hold the next round of talks in Doha, the capital of Qatar in the near future.

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Pakistan’s Crackdown Against Pashtun Activists Raises Concerns of Afghan Gov’t https://ariananews.af/pakistans-crackdown-against-pashtun-activists-raises-concerns-of-afghan-govt/ Thu, 07 Feb 2019 11:45:26 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=296818

The arrest of a group of ethnic Pashtun activists at a rally in Pakistan this week raised serious concerns of the Afghan government.

The members of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) were detained during an Islamabad protest against police violence on Tuesday, the latest in a series of moves against the group which was founded a year ago to protest the death of a Pashtun man killed by police in the Pakistani port city of Karachi.

Tuesday’s incident, reopening longstanding tensions between Kabul and Islamabad.

“The Afghan government has serious concerns about the violence perpetrated against peaceful protesters and civil activists in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan,” Ghani wrote in a tweet.

“We believe it is the moral responsibility of every government to support civil activities that take a stand against the terrorism and extremism that plagues and threatens our region and collective security. Otherwise, there could be long-standing negative consequences,” he added.

In reaction, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi rejected Ghani’s comment.

“Such irresponsible statements are only gross interference,” he said in a tweet, adding that Ghani should focus on the “longstanding grievances of the Afghan people”.

Tuesday’s protests followed the death of PTM regional leader Arman Loni in southwestern Balochistan province which the group blamed on police.

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Pakistan Reiterates Support to Kashmir People on Solidarity Day https://ariananews.af/pakistan-reiterates-support-to-kashmir-people-on-solidarity-day/ Wed, 06 Feb 2019 09:25:12 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=296644

Pakistan observed ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ on Tuesday (February 5) as the country’s President Arif Alvi reiterated his support to the people of Kashmir in their struggle for the right of self-determination.

Pakistan president in a message said that the February 5, is an opportunity to pay tribute to the unparalleled commitment of the Kashmiris for the attainment of the legitimate right to self-determination.

“We reassure our Kashmiri brothers and sisters that we will remain consistent in our principled position on Kashmir. The entire Pakistani nation stands with its Kashmiri brethren in their valiant struggle to achieve the legitimate right to self-determination,” Alvi said.

Pakistan’s President also urged the Indian government to uphold the rights of the Kashmiri people.

Every year on February 05, Pakistan celebrates the day as “Kashmir Solidarity Day” when they organize protest rallies against the alleged human rights violation in Kashmir.

It comes as the tensions between Pakistan and India have intensified on Kashmir. Pakistan is pushing India to implement the United Nations resolutions on the decades-old dispute between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

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RSF Condemns Killing of Two Journalists in Takhar https://ariananews.af/rsf-condemns-killing-of-two-journalists-in-takhar/ Wed, 06 Feb 2019 06:54:11 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=296675

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Wednesday condemned the armed attack on Radio Hamseda in Taloqan, the capital of the northeastern province of Takhar in which two journalists were shot dead.

The attack was carried out by two unidentified gunmen who entered the radio station on Tuesday at around 05 p.m. asked who was in charge and then opened fire on the two journalists present at the time.

According to RSF statement, one was acting news editor Shafiq Arya, 28. The other, identified only as Rahimullah, 26, was presenting a programme.

Provincial Police Chief Rashid Bashir confirmed the death of the two journalists and said an investigation was underway.

“We offer our condolences to the families and colleagues of Shafiq Arya and Rahimullah, and we urge the police to conduct a thorough investigation in order to identify this attack’s perpetrators and instigators as quickly as possible,” said Reza Moini, the head of RSF’s Iran-Afghanistan desk.

Radio Hamseda employs 11 people, including four women, and has been broadcasting from 6 a.m. to midnight since 2007. Owner Simin Hosseini, who is a member of Taloqan’s municipal council, said he had received no threats.

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‘No Uncertainty, Ambiguity about U.S. Commitment to Afghanistan’: Pompeo https://ariananews.af/no-uncertainty-ambiguity-about-u-s-commitment-to-afghanistan-pompeo/ Wed, 06 Feb 2019 06:34:34 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=296638

President Ashraf Ghani held a telephone conversation with the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday evening, hours before the U.S. President Trump spoke of negotiations with the Taliban in his annual State of the Union address.

According to Presidential Palace, the U.S. Secretary of State reiterated the stance and commitment of the United States to Afghanistan.

“There is no uncertainty and ambiguity about the U.S. commitment to Afghanistan and our enduring partnership,” Pompeo stressed.

He also stressed that the American troops will remain in Afghanistan until a political settlement being reached in the war-torn country.

“Our military partnership is unwavering and will remain until a lasting and inclusive peace is achieved,” Pompeo said.

The U.S. Secretary of State also underscored the central importance of ensuring the centrality of the Afghan government in the peace process.

He also reiterated the U.S. commitment and support to holding the upcoming presidential elections in July.

“We both agreed that words, rumors, and speculations cannot replace actions and that our partnership and resolve will remain strong in the pursuit of peace,” Pompeo said.

It comes as U.S. President Trump said in his annual State of the Union address said that his administration had accelerated talks for a political settlement in Afghanistan, and would be able to reduce U.S. troops there as negotiations advance to end the war there.

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‘Great Nations Don’t Fight Endless Wars’ – Trump https://ariananews.af/great-nations-dont-fight-endless-wars-trump/ Wed, 06 Feb 2019 05:38:04 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=296617

The U.S. President Donald Trump reiterated on Tuesday that if an agreement has reached in peace talks with the Taliban, he would pullout American troops from Afghanistan.

Trump said in his annual State of the Union that his administration has accelerated talks with groups to reach into a political settlement in Afghanistan, including with the Taliban.

“We do not know whether we will achieve an agreement — but we do know that after two decades of war, the hour has come to at least try for peace,” he said.

Trump also pledged in his speech to Congress that he would reduce the current 14,000 American troops in Afghanistan. After losing more than 2,300 U.S. soldiers and spending more than $900 billion in Afghanistan since 2001.

“As we make progress in these negotiations, we will be able to reduce our troop presence and focus on counter-terrorism. And we will indeed focus on counter-terrorism,” he said.

“Our brave troops have now been fighting in the Middle East for almost 19 years. In Afghanistan and Iraq, nearly 7,000 American heroes have given their lives. More than 52,000 Americans have been badly wounded,” he said.

Trump also said that when he campaigned for president in 2016, he wanted to focus more on domestic issues than foreign conflicts.

“Great nations do not fight endless wars…,” he said,” Our troops have fought with unmatched valor — and thanks to their bravery, we are now able to pursue a political solution to this long and bloody conflict.

“When I took office, ISIS controlled more than 20,000 square miles in Iraq and Syria. Today, we have liberated virtually all of that territory from the grip of these bloodthirsty killers,” he added.

Trump also noted that now, they are working with their allies to destroy the remnants of ISIS. “It is time to give our brave warriors in Syria a warm welcome home,” he said.

This comes as the Republican-led U.S. Senate backed largely symbolic legislation on Monday that broke with Trump by opposing plans for any abrupt withdrawal of troops from Syria and Afghanistan.

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21 People Sentenced to Prison over Kabul Intercontinental Hotel Attack   https://ariananews.af/21-people-sentenced-to-prison-over-kabul-intercontinental-hotel-attack/ Tue, 05 Feb 2019 14:49:57 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=296583

Twenty-one people have been sentenced to imprisonment over last year’s deadly attack on Intercontinental Hotel in the capital Kabul. 

Over a two-dozen people including foreigners had been killed in the Taliban attack which took place in January 2018.

Jamshed Rasooli, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office said that 21 people who had been accused of involving in the attack and negligence were jailed.

Rasooli said that 13 of them – who were working for a company that was in charge of security at the hotel – sentenced to 3-4 years in prison.

 Eight more who were Taliban members and involved in organizing and planning the attack, were sentenced to 20-30 years in prison, the official said.

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U.S. Senate Breaks with Trump by Opposing Plans for Abrupt Withdrawal of Troops https://ariananews.af/u-s-senate-breaks-with-trump-by-opposing-plans-for-abrupt-withdrawal-of-troops/ Tue, 05 Feb 2019 12:14:05 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=296564

The Republican-led U.S. Senate backed largely symbolic legislation on Monday that broke with President Donald Trump by opposing plans for any abrupt withdrawal of troops from Syria and Afghanistan.

The Senate voted 70-26 in favor of a non-binding amendment, drafted by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying it was the sense of the Senate that Islamist militant groups in both countries still pose a “serious threat” to the United States.

The amendment acknowledged progress against Islamic State and al Qaeda in Syria and Afghanistan but warned that “a precipitous withdrawal” could destabilize the region and create a vacuum that could be filled by Iran or Russia.

It called on the Trump administration to certify conditions had been met for the groups’ “enduring defeat” before any significant withdrawal from Syria or Afghanistan.

Before the vote, McConnell said he introduced the bill so the Senate could “speak clearly and directly about the importance of the” missions in Afghanistan and Syria.

Passage was expected after the Senate voted to advance it in a procedural vote last week. After concerns from some Democrats, the Senate approved a change to the bill making it clear the amendment was not intended to be a declaration of war or authorization to use military force.

The vote added the amendment to a broader Middle East security bill making its way through Congress. The Senate voted 72-24 to advance the broader bill in a procedural vote on Monday after the amendment vote.

To become law, however, the bill would need to pass the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, where it is unlikely to move without significant changes because of concerns about a provision addressing the “Boycott, Divest and Sanction” movement concerned with Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

The votes marked the second time in two months that the Senate supported a measure contradicting Trump’s foreign policy, although legislation to change his policies has yet to become law.

Several of Trump’s fellow Republicans strongly disagreed with his plans to withdraw 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria on the grounds that militants no longer pose a threat.

Senator Jim Risch, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, disputed before Monday’s vote that the amendment rebuked or insulted Trump. “As I read it, it recognizes … his effort for us to examine exactly what we are doing in these places,” Risch said.

Reported by Reuters.

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NDS Forces Arrest Group of Armed Kidnappers in Kabul https://ariananews.af/nds-forces-arrest-group-of-armed-kidnappers-in-kabul/ Tue, 05 Feb 2019 11:45:56 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=296552

Afghan Intelligence operatives have arrested a seven-member group of kidnappers in the capital Kabul, the National Directorate of Security said in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement said that the group has been involved in kidnappings, armed robberies, and extortion in the capital.

According to the statement, the group was led by Obaidullah, known as Raees Obaid who has been arrested with seven of his collaborators in Kabul City.

The statement also noted that the Afghan intelligence forces have seized a large amount of arms and ammunition.

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With Amendment of Electoral Law All Commissioners Will Be Dismissed: Sources https://ariananews.af/with-amendment-of-electoral-law-all-commissioners-will-be-dismissed-sources/ Mon, 04 Feb 2019 14:19:30 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=296432

Following the allegations of corruption against members of the IEC, sources within the government said on Monday that with the amendment of Election law all of the electoral commissioners will be dismissed.

The government sources told Ariana News that except one member of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), all of the commissioners were being accused of corruption.

According to the sources, the government was working on the plan to amend the Election Law and that with the implementation of the plan all of the electoral commissioners will be dismissed.

It comes as Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah who has registered himself as a presidential candidate for July elections, last month, emphasized that the government would bring reforms in the IEC.

He said consultations have taken place about reforms in the electoral commissions and that it will continue.

Some electoral observers, meanwhile, urged the government to prosecute those who have challenged the election process.

“We suggest that those who have been accused of fraud and corruption should be trialed so that it could be a great lesson for others,” said Nayeem Ayoub Zada, head of TEFA.

 The IEC, however, said that so far there is no evidence to prove corruption and mismanagement in the commission.

“If there is any evidence, we urge the government to prosecute the commissioners who were being accused [of corruption],” said Maliha Hassan, a member of the IEC.

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Senior Gov’t Officials Failed to Represent National Consensus on Peace: Abdullah https://ariananews.af/senior-govt-officials-failed-to-represent-national-consensus-on-peace-abdullah/ Mon, 04 Feb 2019 13:28:09 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=296433

Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah says the senior government officials have failed to represent a national consensus on peace and that the consultations which have taken place in this regard were not durable.

“We as government officials have failed to represent national peace consensus among majority of Afghanistan people including political sect and civil society,” Abdullah told reporters on Monday.

Abdullah stressed that the government officials are taking the issues related to peace process personally; he was apparently referring President Ghani who said that he will not accept temporary peace in the country and that would not sign any agreement in this regard.

“The consultations which have taken place in this regard [peace process] were not durable and it caused dispersion,” he said.

Referring to the upcoming Moscow meeting between the Taliban and Afghan politicians, Abdullah said that some leaders of political parties who are being opposed to the government have no limits to undermine the government leadership.

He also said that the Taliban are seeking an Islamic Emirate in the country and that nothing else is acceptable for them.

This comes as the Taliban is expected to meet the anti-government Afghan politicians on Tuesday in Moscow.

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Taliban Confirm Their 10-Member Delegation to Participate in Moscow Summit https://ariananews.af/taliban-confirm-their-10-member-delegation-to-participate-in-moscow-summit/ Mon, 04 Feb 2019 12:47:28 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=296414

The Taliban in a statement on Monday confirmed that their 10-member delegation led by Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai to participate in the Moscow Conference on Afghanistan.

The statement noted that the agenda of the summit is about issues related to Afghanistan including declaration of policies and opening channels to reaching “an understanding” with non-government Afghan political parties.

According to the statement, at the summit, the Taliban wants to explain their policy and mechanism for future of Afghanistan and enduring peace as well as the establishment of an “intra-Afghan Islamic System of governance”.

The Moscow Conference is scheduled to be held on Tuesday (February 05).

Some of the Afghan politicians who are attending the summit include Hamid Karzai, the former president, Mohammad Haneef Atmar, former National Security Advisor, and Atta Mohammad Noor, a former governor, and leader of Jamiat-e-Islami political party, Mohammad Mohaqiq, the leader of Wahdat party.

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‘Unilateral’ Reformative Actions Against IEC Not Acceptable: Political Parties https://ariananews.af/unilateral-reformative-actions-against-iec-not-acceptable-political-parties/ Sun, 03 Feb 2019 13:36:24 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=296318

A number of political parties on Sunday said that the government should consult with them before taking any reformative actions against the Independent Election Commission (IEC).

Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah who has registered himself as a presidential candidate for July elections, last month, had stressed that the government would bring reforms in the IEC.

However, some political parties warned that without their consultations they would not accept any kind of reforms in IEC.

“We have not been consulted that which areas need to be reformed,” said Asadullah Sa’adati, who is a member of Wahdat-i-Islami party and running for second vice presidency in elections.

“Any kind of reforms without our consultation would be in favor of a particular group,” said Abdullah Qarloq, a member of Junbish-e-Milli party.

However, Mohammad Hedayat, an advisor of Second Vice President Sarwar Danish said that soon reforms will be brought in regulations, structure and figures of the electoral commissions.

“Reform work is underway and there is a clear consensus for bringing reforms,” he said.

It comes as the international community has set electoral reforms as a condition for providing the budget of the Afghan presidential election which is scheduled to be held on 20th of July this year.

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Atmar Calls Moscow Summit as ‘Important Step’ Towards Intra-Afghan Dialogue https://ariananews.af/atmar-calls-moscow-summit-as-important-step-towards-intra-afghan-dialogue/ Sun, 03 Feb 2019 12:48:50 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=296302

Former National Security Advisor and a possible presidential candidate for July elections Mohammad Haneef Atmar said on Sunday that he would participate in the upcoming Moscow summit on Afghanistan.

In a statement posted via his official Twitter account, Atmar said that he would defend constitutional values and safety of institutions as achievements and legacies of the nation in the meeting.

He added that at the summit he will emphasize on inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue which should include the Afghan government.  

In the statement, Atmar also urged the Afghan government not to view the peace process from the perspective of itself and that to respect the role of the political sect and the nation in reconciliations efforts as well as the safety of the system and national institutions.  

The Moscow Conference is scheduled to be held on Tuesday (February 05) between the Taliban and Afghan political leaders.

Some of the Afghan politicians who are reportedly attending the Moscow summit include Hamid Karzai, the former president, and Atta Mohammad Noor, a former governor, and leader of Jamiat-e-Islami political party, Mohammad Mohaqiq, the leader of Wahdat party.

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Ghani Says Temporary Peace Not Acceptable https://ariananews.af/ghani-says-temporary-peace-not-acceptable/ Sun, 03 Feb 2019 12:15:25 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=296296

Amid the ongoing U.S.-Taliban peace talks to reach into a political settlement in Afghanistan, President Ashraf Ghani says he would not accept a temporary peace in the country.

Addressing a ceremony to praise Afghan special forces in the Presidential Palace on Saturday, Ghani said that those forcing people to hold peace talks must avoid discussing the issue of dissolving the country’s army. 

The president made the remarks in reaction to a video issued by a senior Taliban member, and former head of the Qatar office, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai who said after reaching a peace deal the Afghan army should be dissolved.

In part of his speech, the president also challenged the insurgents to a face-to-face fight with the Afghan national forces instead of carrying out suicide attacks and explosions.

His response comes at a critical moment as the international community led by the United States is trying to reach into an agreement with the Taliban end to 17 years of bloodshed in the country.

The U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said last week that they have made significant progress in peace talks with the Taliban and that reached agreements in principle.

However, President Ghani said that he would not accept a temporary peace in his war-weary country.  

“A peace that our security and defense forces do not guarantee is not acceptable to us,” he said.

The Afghan government has repeatedly called on the Taliban to join peace process by sitting in a negotiating team, but the armed group has refused so far and instead insists on talks with the United States as their main adversary.

Recently, the Taliban have shown readiness to meet with the Afghan politicians who are opposed to Ghani. The meeting which is expected to be held in Moscow on Tuesday would further anger President Ghani.

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Russia Says Only Hosting Taliban-Afghan Politicians Meeting https://ariananews.af/russia-says-only-hosting-taliban-afghan-politicians-meeting/ Sat, 02 Feb 2019 15:18:53 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=296219

The Russian Embassy in Kabul says Moscow is only hosting the meeting between the Taliban and Afghan politicians and that not attending the gathering which is scheduled on Tuesday.

Taliban are expected to meet with the Afghan politicians who are opposed to the government of President Ghani – which has found itself excluded from the talks seeking an end to the 17-year war.

Some of the Afghan politicians who are reportedly attending the Moscow summit include Hamid Karzai, the former president, and Atta Mohammad Noor, a former governor, and leader of Jamiat-e-Islami political party, Mohammad Mohaqiq, the leader of Wahdat party.

The Russian Embassy told Ariana News on Saturday that Moscow is only organizing the event and that has no role in the agenda of the meeting.

According to the embassy, Russia would only provide technical support to the summit.

Earlier, TASS, the Russian state-run news agency also said that Afghan community in Russia was organizing the meeting, which was not part of the series of international Moscow conferences on Afghanistan.

Moscow Conference Agenda

Sayed Akbar Agha, a former member of the Taliban said that the conference will focus on the current situation in Afghanistan and ways to ensure peace; however, he said the talks would not lead into an agreement.  

For the Taliban to ignore the Afghan government and meet with some of the country’s major political leaders would further anger President Ghani.

“The government and the nation should be united in bringing peace. Initiating peace talks through multiple channels won’t help us to ensure peace,” said Massoud Trushtwal, a spokesman for the Council of the Protection and Stability of Afghanistan.

The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, meanwhile, said that without the presence of the Afghan government, Moscow talks would not help the peace process and insisted on Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace talks.

This comes as the Taliban have repeatedly refused to hold direct talks with Kabul despite pressures from regional countries, as the armed group insists the U.S. is their main adversary.

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U.S., Taliban Joint Commission to ‘Finalize Mechanism’ for Troop Pullout Late Feb. https://ariananews.af/u-s-taliban-joint-commission-to-finalize-mechanism-for-troop-pullout-late-feb/ Sat, 02 Feb 2019 13:51:15 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=296138

The United States and the Taliban joint commission to begin working on a mechanism for withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan this week, sources close to the Taliban said Saturday.

The Taliban sources told Ariana News that the U.S. and Taliban joint commission would to finalize a mechanism for foreign troops’ pullout from Afghanistan and a guarantee that Afghanistan would not be used for hostile acts against the United States and its allies, before February 25.

“The joint commission will discuss on the technical aspects of these two key issues and some other relevant issues,” a source close to the Taliban said.

According to the source, the outcomes of the discussion will be revealed before the U.S. and the Taliban officials fresh round of talks later this month.

A second source, meanwhile, said that the commission will work on the implementation of the agreements being reached in last week’s Qatar talks.

This comes a day after the U.S. President Donald Trump said that his country spends $50 billion a year in Afghanistan and that if a peace deal reached with the Taliban he would pullout the American troops from the war-torn country.

By Shahab Amiri

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Trump Reiterates Afghanistan War ‘Must Finally End’ https://ariananews.af/trump-reiterates-afghanistan-war-must-finally-end/ Fri, 01 Feb 2019 13:58:58 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=296013

The U.S. President Donald Trump says he inherited a total mess in Afghanistan and Syria after taking office in November 2016.

“I inherited a total mess in Syria and Afghanistan, the “Endless Wars” of unlimited spending and death,” Trump said in a series of tweets. “During my campaign, I said, very strongly, that these wars must finally end.”

“We spend $50 Billion a year in Afghanistan and have hit them so hard that we are now talking peace,” he said.

Trump made the statement a day after he vowed that would bring the American troops home if a peace deal reached with the Taliban to end the 17 years of war in Afghanistan.

 “For the first time they’re talking about settling, they’re talking about making an agreement, and we bring our people back home if that happens,” Trump told reporters in Oval Office late on Thursday.

“We’ll see what happens. But they’re in very serious negotiations for the first time. There’s a reason for that. So I think we’re doing so well on a foreign policy basis,” he said.

It comes amid the U.S.-led diplomatic efforts to reach into a political settlement in Afghanistan.

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