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Durable Peace Cannot Be Cancelled With a Tweet: MPs

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(Last Updated On: September 11, 2019)

If the Taliban wants peace, it is time for them to start “direct talks with Afghan people and Afghan government”, some members of Afghan Parliament said on Wednesday.

These Parliament members stress that talks to ensure durable peace can’t be called off by a tweet.

“It is time for them to announce a ceasefire and began direct talks if they want peace. But if they enjoy killing Afghans, shames on them,” said Hamidullah Tokhi, a member of the lower house of parliament representing Zabul province.

“Based on the Constitution, the government service term has ended. Those politicians who can’t define the national interest and lack the capacity of negotiating should not hold talks with the Taliban,” said Niloofar Ibrahimi, another lawmaker from northern Badakhshan province.

Furthermore, Mahdi Rasikh an MP from Maidan Wardak province claimed that new groups joined with the Taliban during peace talks in order to have a share in power.

“Some people who had nothing to do with the militant group joined them when rumors spread that Taliban would take over the government after a peace deal,” MP Rasikh said.

This comes as U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he has “called off” the peace negotiations with the Taliban leaders after the group carried out an attack in Kabul on Thursday in which one American and 11 others were killed.

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It is ‘Peace Monday’, says US envoy to Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: August 10, 2020)

Ross Wilson, the Charge d’Affaires at the US embassy in Kabul, has thanked everyone who participated in the peace talks program over the past five months and said “It’s Peace Monday”.

He said everyone who had so far participated in the process had provided valuable insight into what peace means to Afghans and what is important for the future of the country. 

In his message, Wilson explained what he tells the members of the intra-Afghan negotiating team about the peace process and its outcomes. 

“I tell them the United States supports two important outcomes for these talks. 

“First, a sovereign, united, democratic Afghanistan at peace with itself and its neighbors.

“Second, preservation and advancement of the political, economic and social gains of the past 19 years. 

He said in line with this, the US embassy will share details with the Afghan people about the remarkable progress Afghanistan has achieved since 2001.

He also said he would highlight ways the United States contributes towards its Enduring Partnership with Afghanistan and reveal some of the ambitious goals for the future. 

However, he made it clear that the intra-Afghan negotiations should and will be Afghan-owned and Afghan-led. 

In a clear message to Afghans, he said: “It’s up to all of you to determine the future of this country.”

But in doing this, he reassured all Afghans that the United States will be there, “every step of the way” to support Afghanistan. 

Wilson’s message comes at a critical time in the Afghan peace process following the Loya Jirga’s decision Sunday to release the 400 controversial Taliban prisoners in order to kick start much-needed peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

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US envoy welcomes ‘historic’ opportunity for peace

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(Last Updated On: August 10, 2020)

Zalmay Khalilzad, the United States’ Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, welcomed the Afghan Loya Jirga’s declaration and President Ashraf Ghani’s decision to sign the decree ordering the release of the 400 remaining prisoners.

In a series of tweets Monday morning, Khalilzad said these were bold steps but “after 40 years of war, a historic opportunity for peace is now possible; one that benefits all Afghans and contributes to regional stability and global security.

He said in the next few days, the US expects the completion of prisoner releases, then travel of the Afghan negotiating team to Doha, and from there the immediate start of intra-Afghan negotiations.

“The parties will embark on a process to reach an agreement on a political roadmap & a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire to end the Afghan war.

“As we have supported the Afghan people for the past 19 years, so do we now support Afghan men and women to achieve the sustainable peace for which they have long yearned,” he said.

Khalilzad stated the United States seeks a sovereign, unified, and democratic Afghanistan that is at peace with itself and its neighbors and does not pose a threat to the world. 

“Today, we are one step closer” to that peace, he said.

This comes after Sunday’s landmark decision following a three-day grand council of over 3,200 tribal elders, community leaders and politicians to release the remaining 400 ‘hardcore’ Taliban prisoners that have been a stumbling block in the way of starting intra-Afghan negotiations. 

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Afghan MMA fighter defeats his American opponent

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(Last Updated On: August 9, 2020)

Nasrat Haqparast, an Afghan MMA fighter, defeated his American opponent Alex Munoz in a UFC fight in the United States.

The match was held Saturday in Las Vegas, US.

Haqparast managed to win all three rounds on every scorecard against his rival.

By defeating Alex Munoz, the Afghan fighter has picked up his 12th win in the UFC rings.

Haqparast is the second Afghan who is fighting in the UFC after Siyar Bahadurzada.

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