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Ghani: ‘No-one’ Was Talking with Taliban, ‘I Convinced the World to Talk’

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(Last Updated On: February 28, 2019)

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says no-one was willing to talk with the Taliban and that he has convinced the world to negotiate with the armed group to bring an end the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan.

“No-one was willing to talk with them, I convinced the world to talk [with the Taliban],” Ghani said at gathering held on Thursday under the title of “national consensus of women on peace” in Kabul.

The president stressed the Afghan government should own the peace process and that the world should only play a ‘guaranteeing” role in the possible peace agreement with the Taliban; ‘not anything further than that”.

“The people should set the limits in the peace process, ” Ghani said. ” “No one can force peace on us and a peace which is not sustainable is not acceptable for us.”

His remarks come as the  U.S. and Taliban representatives began their most detailed and high-level discussions in Qatar on Tuesday aimed at reaching into a political settlement in war-torn Afghanistan.

The talks, however,  have been paused after three “solid” days of talks.

“Emerging from three solid days of talks with the Taliban in Doha. Meetings were productive. We continue to take slow, steady steps toward understanding and eventually peace,” Khalilzad tweeted.

“Both sides will take the next two days for internal deliberations, with plans to regroup on Saturday. All four key issues remain on the table,” he added.

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Pompeo says he warned Lavrov against offering bounties for U.S. soldiers

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(Last Updated On: August 13, 2020)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday said he warned his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov that there would be “an enormous price to pay” if Moscow is offering bounties to kill US soldiers or other Western troops in Afghanistan.

The New York Times in June reported that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including American troops, citing US intelligence officials.

President Donald Trump said he was not told about the information because many US intelligence officials doubted its veracity, although several US and European sources contradicted his comments.

In an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Pompeo declined to say whether he believed the intelligence was credible or if he thought Trump should have been briefed but said Washington would not put up with such behavior.

“If the Russians are offering money to kill Americans, or for that matter other Westerns as well, there will be an enormous price to pay. That’s what I shared with foreign minister Lavrov,” Pompeo said in the interview, conducted during his official visit to the Czech Republic.

“I know our military has talked to their senior leaders as well. We won’t brook that, we won’t tolerate,” Pompeo said.

Last month, US and European sources familiar with intelligence reporting said that the United States had acquired fresh reporting backing up the allegations that Russia had encouraged Taliban-affiliated militants to kill US and allied soldiers in Afghanistan.

The intelligence reporting comes as the United States has been engaged in negotiating with the Taliban as well as the Afghan government to get a stalled peace agreement, struck in February for the withdrawal of US troops, moving.

 

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Four policemen killed in Farah motorbike bomb blast

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(Last Updated On: August 12, 2020)

At least four policemen were killed and 22 others wounded in a blast in southwestern Farah province. 

The incident took place in PD^4 in the provincial capital Farah city at around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement that the blast occurred after an explosive-laden motorbike hit a police vehicle in the city.

Mohibullah Mohib, a spokesman for Farah police told Ariana news that civilians were also among the casualties.

Immediately no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack. 

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Taliban warns of ‘planned attack’ by Daesh militants against freed prisoners

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(Last Updated On: August 12, 2020)

Taliban on Wednesday warned the Afghan government of a possible Daesh attack against the group’s 400 remaining prisoners.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, said in a statement that “based on accurate intelligence reports and documents, the Islamic Emirate (Taliban) warns that there exists a grave security threat against the safety of the remaining prisoners to be released from Pul-e-Charkhi prison.”

According to Mujahid, Daesh plans to carry out a coordinated attack against the Taliban prisoners once they are freed from the Kabul prison.

“A group of Daesh gunmen in coordination and cooperation with Kabul administration intelligence, some military personnel, and prison check post commanders plan to conduct an attack against vehicles that are to transfer the remaining released prisoners,” Mujahid added.

However, sources in the National Directorate of Security (NDS) have rejected the Taliban’s “baseless” claims, saying that they are committed to providing the security of the Taliban prisoners.

He claimed that Daesh aims to disrupt the negotiations process and “exact revenge on the prisoners.”

The group urged the Afghan government to take “preventative measures” and accomplish the prisoner transfer process with “utmost care and safety.”

“If God forbid, anything unfortunate were to happen then all those sides will be held responsible who have shown negligence in this regard,” the statement concluded.

This comes just days after President Ashraf Ghani signed the release order of the 400 controversial Taliban inmates.

The decision was made after Ghani called for a Loya Jirga, or grand council, which voted in favor of the militants’ release following two days of consultations.

So far none of these prisoners have been released.

The National Security Council, which is tasked with the job of arranging the release process, has not yet provided details about when the prisoners will be freed.

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