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Joint statement regarding the US-Taliban agreement

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(Last Updated On: March 10, 2020)

A joint statement was agreed on the occasion of the signing of the US-Taliban Agreement on February 29 in Qatar.

The representatives of the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations met on March 1 in Doha, Qatar and:

  1. Welcomed the important steps, enabled by the United States – Taliban agreement and the United States – Afghanistan joint declaration of February 29, towards ending the war and opening the door to intra-Afghan negotiations scheduled for March 10.
  2. Expressed their readiness to work towards a comprehensive and sustainable peace agreement that ends the war, contributes to regional stability and global security, respects the internationally-recognized rights of all Afghans also reflected in the Afghan Constitution and is honored by all Afghans, including the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, political leaders, civil society and the Taliban.
  3. Reiterated that a comprehensive and sustainable peace can be achieved only through an inclusive negotiated political settlement among Afghans, in which, notably, women participate meaningfully, and by respecting Afghanistan’s integrity and sovereignty.
  4. Reaffirmed that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is not recognized by the international community, and furthermore, the international community will not accept or support the restoration of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
  5. Welcomed the Taliban committing to join a political process and their prospective role in a new post-settlement Afghan Islamic government as determined by the intra-Afghan negotiations.
  6. Appreciated the February 22-28 reduction of violence and urged all sides to further decrease violence in order to create an environment conducive to intra-Afghan negotiations.
  7. Called on the Taliban and other Afghan armed groups to take concrete steps to ensure that the territory of Afghanistan should not be used by either them or al-Qa-ida, Daesh, or other international terrorist groups to threaten or attack other countries.
  8. Stated their expectations that all sides will observe a ceasefire for the duration of intra-Afghan negotiations to enable participants to reach agreement on a political roadmap for Afghanistan’s future and the modalities of a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.
  9. Called on all Afghans to begin discussions immediately on issues of mutual concern, such as prisoner releases and a ceasefire.
  10. Reaffirmed existing commitments to provide political support and economic and development assistance to a future Afghan government, provided that it preserves and respects the internationally-recognized rights of all Afghans also reflected in the Afghan Constitution, including for women, youth and minorities, and responds to the desire of Afghans to build on the gains achieved since 2001.
  11. Reaffirmed existing commitments to continue assistance to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces on a sustainable basis.
  12. Took note of the readiness of the United States upon the commencement of the intra-Afghan negotiations to engage with other members of the United Nations Security Council and Afghanistan to review the status of sanctions designations in order to support the peace process, noting that Taliban action to further reduce violence, make sustained efforts to advance intra-Afghan negotiations and otherwise cease to engage in or support activities that threaten the peace, stability, and security of Afghanistan or other countries will affect the review.
  13. Encouraged all countries to support the Afghan people and contribute to a lasting peace settlement in the interest of all.
  14. Welcomed all international efforts that support the Afghan peace process.

Source: https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage_en/75807/Afghanistan:%20Joint%20Statement%20on%20the%20Signing%20of%20the%20U.S.-Taliban%20Agreement?fbclid=IwAR380MGQG8Ldyr27YIWoRnmXCJ5b6oFyHbCsyjYMTzkei1JgRLfPQwd_NWc

COVID-19

Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, son Abhishek test positive for Coronavirus

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(Last Updated On: July 12, 2020)

Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan and his son Abhishek Bachchan were tested positive for Coronavirus, Bachchan confirmed.

 “I have tested CoviD positive..shifted to Hospital.. hospital informing authorities .. family and staff undergone tests, results awaited,” Amitabh Bachchan said in a tweet on Saturday night.

Both actors have been admitted to a hospital in Mumbai, India.

The 77-year-old actor also urged all those who have been in close proximity with him in the last 10 days to get themselves tested for COVID-19

Meanwhile, Abhishek has informed that they have ‘mild symptoms.’

“Earlier today both my father and I tested positive for COVID 19. Both of us having mild symptoms have been admitted to hospital. We have informed all the required authorities and our family and staff are all being tested. I request all to stay calm and not panic. Thank you,” Abhishek wrote on Twitter.

It comes as the number of COVID-19 cases in India has risen to 820,916 with 22,123 deaths and 515,386 recoveries.

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England World Cup winner Jack Charlton dies

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(Last Updated On: July 11, 2020)

Jack Charlton, the 1996 World Cup winner with England and former head of Ireland national football team, has died aged 85 on Friday, BBC reported.

Charlton has been suffering from lymphoma since 2019 as well as dementia.

One of English football’s most popular characters, Jack Charlton was in the team that won the World Cup at Wembley in 1966.

He was the former defender of Leeds United 1950 to 1973. Leeds is the club in which he spent his entire club career.

A family statement read: “Jack died peacefully on Friday, July 10 at the age of 85. He was at home in Northumberland, with his family by his side. As well as a friend to many, he was a much-adored husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.”

“We cannot express how proud we are of the extraordinary life he led and the pleasure he brought to so many people in different countries and from all walks of life.

He is survived by wife Pat, whom he married in 1958, and their three children, John, Deborah, and Peter

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Taliban accuses Afghan government intelligence of torturing the group’s prisoners

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(Last Updated On: July 11, 2020)

The Taliban accused the Afghan intelligence of torturing prisoners of the group for admitting to receiving money from Russia to kill American soldiers.

The claim of Russia rewarding Taliban fighters for killing US troops in Afghanistan is now slowly being linked to the Taliban and the Afghan government.

Recently, Khairullah Khairkhah, a member of the Taliban political group in Qatar, said that no one could prove that the Taliban had taken money from Russia to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan.

“They have tortured prisoners to confess about the matter so that they can report to the world, while everything is completely baseless and no one can prove that the Taliban is receiving military assistance from Russia,” said Khairullah Khairkhah, a member of the Taliban political group in Qatar.

But Afghanistan’s national security says that it treats prisoners according to human rights law.

On the other hand, the Russian Foreign Minister once again called Russia’s involvement in this issue baseless and said that a number of US officials are initiating this claim to harm the Trump administration on the verge of the presidential election.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said: “I can only say that all these allegations are based on speculation and no clear facts have been presented.”

The Taliban have previously denied receiving money from Russia to kill US troops in Afghanistan, but this is the first time the Taliban have acknowledged their prisoners’ confession through torture by Afghan intelligence.

Although the Afghan government has said it will not release some 600 Taliban prisoners on serious charges, sources close to the Taliban say that the group still insists on releasing prisoners on the basis of a pre-arranged list and does not agree with the new list of prisoners.

“They still want the prisoners to be released according to the previous list. No new list has been arranged and has not been handed over to the government,” said Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban member.

Afghanistan’s allied countries also appear to be opposed to the release of hundreds of Taliban prisoners accused of involvement in major events, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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