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HPC Confirms Govt’s ‘Secret Talks’ with Taliban

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(Last Updated On: May 31, 2018)

In reaction to recent remarks of the U.S. General John Nicholson, Afghanistan’s High Peace Council (HPC) says the Afghan people will hear some good news regarding peace talks with the Taliban in the near future.

On Wednesday, the commander of U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan General John Nicholson said that senior Taliban officials have been secretly negotiating with the Afghan government officials on possible ceasefire.

“A lot of the diplomatic activity and dialogue is occurring off the stage, and it’s occurring at multiple levels,” Nicholson said Wednesday in a teleconference with reporters at the Pentagon.

He would not identify the figures involved in the negotiations, except to say that they included mid- and senior-level Taliban officials, AFP said.

 “I should point out they met in secret. This is how they were able to advance the talks,” he said, citing the need for the “confidentiality of the process.” 

In reaction, a member of the Afghan High Peace Council confirmed to Ariana News that the council has been engaged in secret talks with the Taliban, citing sensitivity of the issue as reason for not disclosing the Taliban figures who were being involved in talks.

“In the near future we will be witness of some good news regarding peace [with the Taliban],” Rahim  Beg Yaqubi said. “The negotiations with the Taliban might take place closely soon.”

” We will continue to negotiate, and soon you will get to know about our contacts through media,” he added.

 Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in late February proposed peace talks with the Taliban, saying they could be recognized as a political party if they accepted a ceasefire and recognized the country’s 2004 constitution.

The Taliban, however, did not officially rejected the peace offer. But the group has intensified attacks across the country, following the announcement of their spring offensive so-called “Al Khandaq”.

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Pentagon offers payment to families of victims of botched drone strike

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(Last Updated On: October 16, 2021)

The Pentagon has offered unspecified condolence payments to the family of 10 civilians who were killed in a botched U.S. drone attack in Afghanistan in August in the final days before American troops withdrew from the country.

The U.S. Defense Department said it made a commitment that included offering ex-gratia condolence payments, in addition to working with the U.S. State Department in support of the family members who were interested in relocation to the United States.

The Pentagon had said the strike targeted an Islamic State (Daesh) suicide bomber who posed an imminent threat to U.S.-led troops as they completed their withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The intelligence failure raised hard questions about future risks, particularly whether the United States can keep track of threats from Afghanistan without a presence in the country.

The confirmation of civilian deaths provided further fuel to critics of the chaotic U.S. withdrawal, which generated the biggest foreign policy crisis yet for President Joe Biden’s administration.

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NASA probe will study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids

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(Last Updated On: October 16, 2021)
NASA launched a first-of-its kind mission on Saturday to study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, two large clusters of space rocks that scientists believe are remnants of primordial material that formed the solar system’s outer planets. Matthew Larotonda reports.
 
NASA launched a new space probe on Saturday (October 16) morning in a special 12-year mission designed to visit more asteroids than ever before.

It focuses on the Trojan asteroids, which are two large clumps of space rocks orbiting the sun. One floats ahead of Jupiter and the other behind it.

Scientists believe the rocks are leftovers from the formation of our solar system.

The probe is called “Lucy” and NASA hopes it will help us learn more about our solar system’s history.

The asteroids are also rich in carbon compounds, and may provide insights into organic materials and life on Earth.

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Turkey could run Kabul airport, says Erdogan

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(Last Updated On: October 16, 2021)

Having previously run Kabul airport, Turkey can take similar steps in the future with Qatar and Afghanistan if the three countries reach a deal, the Turkish president said on Friday.

“So far, we have had a lot of effort in Afghanistan’s infrastructure and superstructure … We were operating the Kabul Airport. In the future, if agreements can be reached, Turkey, Qatar, Afghanistan, we can take such steps,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters.

About the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s recent visit to Turkey, Erdogan said the group asked for humanitarian aid and “made requests concerning the functionality of new process in Afghanistan.”

Erdogan vowed to provide “all manner of support” to the Afghan people as long as the interim administration “takes a just stance in protecting the rights of the Afghan people.”

He said the IEA should also take a fair stance in their relations with Turkey.

An IEA delegation visited Turkey on Thursday to discuss bilateral issues, as well as cooperation on the future of Afghanistan.

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