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Efforts underway to determine ‘time & place’ for Intra-Afghan talks

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(Last Updated On: June 11, 2020)

The Afghan Presidential Palace says that the time and place for holding the Intra-Afghan talks will be determined soon.

According to the presidential spokesman, the main focus of the talks between the President and the Chairman of the National Reconciliation Council with the US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and the Special Envoy of Qatar to Afghanistan was to determine the time and place for the talks.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special representative for peace in Afghanistan, following his meeting with the Taliban in Doha and Pakistani officials in Islamabad, met President Ghani, Abdullah Abdullah, Hamed Karzai, and some other political figures and discussed steps before the start of the Intra-Afghan talks.

“It’s too early to tell when and where the talks will take place. I am looking forward to sharing the information with you in the coming days,” said presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi.

This comes as President Ghani in his recent statements in the Atlantic Council said that the time and place of the Intra-Afghan talks will be determined next week.

“If they decide to hold talks in Doha, we are ready to speed it up,” said Motaliq bin Majid al-Qahtani, Qatar’s special envoy to Afghanistan, after his meeting with the president and chairman of the National Reconciliation Council. “We will do so neutrally and transparently, in accordance with the international law.”

The Intra-Afghan talks are expected to take place in mid-June.

Russia’s special envoy to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, said that representatives of Russia, the United States, and Afghanistan would discuss how to hold the Intra-Afghan talks at a tripartite meeting next Monday.

“By releasing the prisoners, we are trying to maintain a significant reduction in violence or an undeclared ceasefire so that we can move forward with important steps in the peace process,” said Afghan presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi.

Earlier, during a visit to Kabul, the Pakistani Chief of Army Staff assured of his country’s cooperation in the peace process; the Afghan government sees the process of the talks as constructive, but it expects Pakistan to take practical steps in the matter.

On the other hand, General Kenneth F. McKenzie, commander of the US Central Command, emphasizes that full withdrawal of the US troops from Afghanistan by spring next year depends on conditions that he believes have not been met yet.

According to him, there is no assurance that the attacks against the US will end.

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New US president tells Americans ‘we will get through this together’

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(Last Updated On: January 20, 2021)

Joe Biden was sworn in as America’s 46th President on Wednesday in Washington DC.

Biden will preside over a deeply polarized electorate, with millions of voters still believing defeated Trump’s false claims of election fraud, and a divided Congress, where gridlock looms as the default and success will come only by compromise, Reuters reported.

Few presidents have taken power in circumstances such as these: a still-raging pandemic claiming lives, a continuing threat of armed insurrection and a defiant former president who faces a Senate trial charged with encouraging an attack on his country’s capital.

Speaking at his inauguration, Biden said:” “We will get through this together! Together!.

He said the world is watching today and that America has been tested but it has come out stronger for it.

He also said the US will lead by the power of example.

He also called for a moment of silence for all those who died from COVID-19 in the past year.

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Two explosions rattle Nangarhar 

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(Last Updated On: January 20, 2021)

Two blasts rocked eastern Nangarhar province on Wednesday afternoon, local officials confirmed.

The provincial media office said in a statement that the first blast happened at around 3 pm after a vehicle hit a roadside IED in the Sherzad district of the province.

Two civilians were killed and four others were wounded in the blast.

Half an hour later, a roadside mine hit a civilian’s car in Khogyani district Nangarhar, killing at least two people and wounding three more, the district governor Shamsul Haq Sapai told Ariana News.

Meanwhile, Zia-Ul-Haq Amarkhil, the Governor of Nangarhar said that both IEDs were planted by the Taliban.

The Taliban has not commented in this regard.

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Attacks are against the values of Islam, Atmar tells OIC chief 

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(Last Updated On: January 20, 2021)

Afghan Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar held talks on Wednesday with Yousef al-Othaimeen, the secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in Saudi Arabia and discussed the current peace talks being held in Doha, Qatar. 

In a statement, the Jeddah-based organization said discussions were held on the peace process, and on how the OIC can support the talks. 

Al-Othaimeen reiterated the OIC’s commitment to supporting the Afghan people, and development projects in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Atmar praised the OIC for its role in forging unity among Islamic countries in support of the peace process and for issuing special resolutions to form a consensus among Islamic countries to resolve the crisis in Afghanistan. 

At the meeting, Atmar called the war in Afghanistan illegitimate from the point of view of Islam.

“The crimes that are being committed in Afghanistan today are completely incompatible with the beliefs of Muslims and Islamic teachings; Attacks on female judges, killings of Kabul University students and attacks on maternity hospitals are certainly not justifiable in Islam,” he said.

Atmar also stated that if the opposition is truly committed to peace, the Afghan government would not see any obstacles to national reconciliation and the success of the peace process, and would be ready to pave the way for political participation on all sides in accordance with the free will of the Afghan people and internationally accepted standards.

“We want the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to continue its previous demands to end the bloodshed and resolve the political crisis in Afghanistan through holding follow-up meetings, expert consultations and sending special groups to consult with the teams,” he said. 

In response to the Foreign Minister’s remarks, the Secretary-General of the OIC said that he commends and supports the flexible and adaptable position of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan towards peace.

Al-Othaimeen pointed out that killing, violence and intimidation are contrary to the essence of Islam and that people should be made aware that Islam is not a religion of terror and violence, but a religion of unity and convergence. 

He praised the role of religious scholars in this regard, saying that scholars in Islamic societies have an important position not only from a religious point of view but also from a political point of view.

 

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