Connect with us

Featured

Full US troop withdrawal will depend on Taliban’s level of commitment: Pompeo 

Ariana News

Published

 on

(Last Updated On: September 11, 2020)

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said American troop levels in Afghanistan would depend on the Taliban upholding its commitments with the US regardless of the outcome of domestic peace talks set to start in Doha on Saturday.

Speaking to journalists while on his way to Qatar, Pompeo said: “There are a series of commitments that the Taliban have made, we have every expectation that they will follow through on them.”

He said the US’s commitment to reducing troops to zero is on condition the Taliban execute their obligations under the agreement. 

He would not however say whether the Trump administration would wait for a peace deal before withdrawing all troops. 

In February, the US and the Taliban reached a deal to kickstart peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban. 

Peace talks were due to start in March but were repeatedly delayed mostly due to the issue around the Taliban prisoner release process and the ongoing attacks by the Taliban. 

One commitment was a steady withdrawal of troops by the US, which have since February dropped from 13,000 to 8,600 and five military bases have been handed over to the Afghan National Army. 

This week, Trump announced a further troop withdrawal and said by November there would only be 4,500 US forces in Afghanistan. 

The deal between the Taliban and the US meanwhile stipulates that all US troops will be out of Afghanistan by spring next year but that the Taliban has to cut all ties with al-Qaeda. 

Despite the rise in attacks by the Taliban around the country and the increase in targeted assassinations, including the attempt this week on Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh’s life, for which the Taliban denied responsibility, Pompeo has hailed the US-led campaign “a tremendous success.”

In his chat to reporters, he said: “We can be proud of what we achieved but it’s time for the next step,” adding that his objectives were based on two demands from President Donald Trump: Draw down troops as quickly as possible while also maintaining American security.

Pompeo also said it was now the turn of Afghan leaders to control the fate of their country.

“I’m mindful of how difficult these conversations will be among the Afghans but it’s theirs for the taking,” Pompeo said.

“It’s their country to try to figure out how to move forward and make a better life for all the Afghan people.”

 

Featured

Biden to keep Khalilzad as peace envoy for now

Ariana News

Published

on

(Last Updated On: January 23, 2021)

Former president Donald Trump’s peace envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad will retain his position, for now, three sources familiar with the matter told CNN. 

This move is not typical as traditionally an incoming administration replaces all politically appointed officials – especially those dealing with foreign policy issues. 

Khalilzad, a diplomatic veteran, has worked on the peace process for more than two years and has been the key official from Washington to meet with both the Afghan government and the Taliban as well as all other stakeholders and regional leaders. 

No further details were released and according to CNN the State Department did not comment when asked about Khalilzad staying on board. 

However, in a statement issued late Friday, the US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told his Afghan counterpart Hamdullah Mohib that the United States intends to review the February 2020 US-Taliban agreement.”

He also said Washington would assess whether the Taliban was living up to its commitments to cut ties with terrorist groups, to reduce violence in Afghanistan and to engage in meaningful negotiations with the Afghan government and other stakeholders.

Sullivan also expressed America’s desire that all Afghan leaders embrace this “historic opportunity for peace and stability.”

Continue Reading

Featured

Washington to review US-Taliban deal, Sullivan tells Mohib 

Ariana News

Published

on

(Last Updated On: January 23, 2021)

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke with Afghan National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib on Friday evening and said Washington intends to review the US-Taliban deal signed in February last year and to assess whether the Taliban is adhering to its commitments. 

In a statement issued by the White House following the discussion between the two NSAs, Sullivan said the US will support the peace process with “a robust and regional diplomatic effort, which will aim to help the two sides achieve a durable and just political settlement and permanent ceasefire”. 

Sullivan also made clear “the United States’ intention to review the February 2020 US-Taliban agreement, including to assess whether the Taliban was living up to its commitments to cut ties with terrorist groups, to reduce violence in Afghanistan and to engage in meaningful negotiations with the Afghan government and other stakeholders.”

According to the statement, Sullivan also expressed America’s desire that all Afghan leaders embrace this “historic opportunity for peace and stability.”

In addition, Sullivan and Mohib discussed the US’s support for protecting the gains made by Afghan women, girls, and minority groups as part of the peace process. 

Sullivan also “committed to consulting closely with the Afghan government, NATO allies, and regional partners regarding a collective strategy to support a stable, sovereign, and secure future for Afghanistan,” the statement read.

Continue Reading

Featured

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

Ariana News

Published

on

(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.

 

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Ariana News. All rights reserved!