Connect with us

Featured

Pompeo sees Loya Jirga as ‘historic opportunity’ for peace

Ariana News

Published

 on

(Last Updated On: August 7, 2020)

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Thursday night called on President Ashraf Ghani and all delegates attending Friday’s Loya Jirga to “to take advantage of this historic opportunity for a peace that benefits all Afghans and contributes to regional stability and global security.”

In a statement issued by the US State Department, Pompeo said the United States understands that the Loya Jirga delegates will decide on the speedy release of the remaining Taliban prisoners from their list, the last obstacle to the start of intra-Afghan negotiations.

He said once these prisoners have been released the Taliban have committed to enter talks with the Afghan government. 

“The Taliban have also committed to significantly reduce violence and casualties during the talks where the parties will decide on a political roadmap to end the long and brutal war and agree on a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire. 

“The United States intends to hold the Taliban to these commitments,” he said.

Noting that the issue of the release of the remaining 400 prisoners was of concern, he said “this difficult action will lead to an important result long sought by Afghans and Afghanistan’s friends: reduction of violence and direct talks resulting in a peace agreement and an end to the war.”

“After 40 years of war and bloodshed and destruction, the parties are ready to embark on a political process to reach a negotiated settlement.”

He also said the US remains committed to its partnership with Afghanistan and that terrorist threats emanating from Afghanistan should never again pose a threat to the United States and its allies. 

“As ever, the United States seeks a sovereign, unified, and democratic Afghanistan that is at peace with itself and its neighbors,” he said adding that at the same time “we are committed to reducing the burden on the US taxpayer and the risk to US troops.”

Meanwhile in a series of tweets, the top US peace broker, Zalmay Khalilzad, said the Loya Jirga – the highest consultation body made up of Afghan elders – was a “historic opportunity” to remove the last hurdle to direct peace talks.

“A positive outcome will mean a reduction in violence and Afghans immediately coming together at the negotiating table,” said the US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation.

“We wish the Jirga participants success in their discussions and urge them not to allow those who prefer the status quo and seek to complicate the path to peace to manipulate the process.”

Featured

Trump’s former NSA says Afghan peace talks are ‘doomed to fail’

Ariana News

Published

on

(Last Updated On: September 21, 2020)

President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser HR McMaster said on Monday intra-Afghan negotiations are doomed to end in failure and warned the risk of another 9/11 type attack in the US was “very high”. 

Speaking to USA TODAY following the launch of his new book “Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World”, McMaster expressed concern about a “destructive cycle” in American politics that has weakened the country. 

In his book, he offers a thoughtful critique of US foreign policy and an assessment of Trump’s approach to North Korea, Afghanistan and other global hotspots. 

McMaster makes it clear he disagreed with some of Trump’s decisions, such as negotiating with the Taliban, which, he told USA TODAY, was based on a “fantasy” and “wishful thinking” that the militant group would renounce its ties to al-Qaeda, which orchestrated the 9/11 attacks.

In February,  the US signed a deal with the Taliban agreeing to a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. In exchange, the Taliban agreed to break ties with al-Qaeda. 

But McMaster said the US deal will simply allow the Taliban to expand its territory and establish an Islamic caliphate and a terrorist training ground. 

He also ridiculed the idea of a power-sharing agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban and said it will pave the way for the Taliban to reimpose its repressive laws on the Afghan people – particularly women.

 “What (does) power-sharing with the Taliban look like?” he asked. “Does that look like … every other girls’ school bulldozed? Or does it look like mass executions in the soccer stadium every other Saturday?”

” … We’ve created this idea that the Taliban can be partners for peace when in fact, they’re determined to establish an Islamic caliphate in Afghanistan and to use that Islamic caliphate as a base for expansion,” McMaster said. 

USA TODAY reported McMaster predicts the peace talks effort will result in failure and leave the US increasingly vulnerable – not just to al-Qaeda but to ISIS (Daesh) and other anti-American terrorist groups. 

The threat is wider now, he said, and those groups are more capable.

In the book, he recounts Trump’s off-handed comment about the war in Afghanistan. “I could win that war in a week. I just don’t want to kill 10 million people.”

 McMaster says that created a misunderstanding about the conflict and “cheapened” the sacrifices made by both American and Afghan soldiers who lost their lives in the war.

The USA TODAY interview follows last week’s discussion with CBS News, where the retired lieutenant general, who left the White House in March 2018, claimed that Trump with his new policy is “partnering with the Taliban against the Afghan government.”

“I think what [Trump] did with this new policy, is he, in effect, is partnering with the Taliban against, in many ways, the Afghan government. And so, I think that it’s an unwise policy. And I think what we require in Afghanistan is a sustained commitment to help the Afghan government,” McMaster told CBS.

Continue Reading

Featured

US imposes sanctions on Iran’s Defense Ministry

Ariana News

Published

on

(Last Updated On: September 21, 2020)

The United States on Monday slapped new sanctions on the Iranian defense ministry and others involved in Iran’s nuclear and weapons program to support its assertion that all UN sanctions against Tehran are now restored.

The move, disputed by key European allies as well as US adversaries such as Russia and China, was announced on Monday evening by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Pompeo also told reporters the United States put new sanctions on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who has deepened ties between Caracas and Tehran, Reuters reported. 

Earlier Monday, Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh said that the United States was waging a war against Iran by imposing sanctions on the Islamic Republic’s crude exports.

“Today Iran is still fighting a war. America has waged a war against Iran with no blood,” Zanganeh was quoted as saying by the oil ministry’s news agency SHANA.

“No matter who you are, if you violate the UN arms embargo on Iran, you risk sanctions,” Pompeo said. 

Continue Reading

Featured

Rescue workers search for survivors after Mumbai building collapses

Ariana News

Published

on

(Last Updated On: September 21, 2020)

Indian officials confirmed late Monday that at least 10 people died in a building collapse earlier in the day. 

The four-story residential building, on the outskirts of Mumbai, collapsed in the early hours of Monday morning while people were asleep. 

Search and rescue teams are still working to find survivors trapped in the rubble. 

During the June-September monsoon season, when heavy rains weaken the foundations of buildings that are poorly constructed or old, India experiences frequent structure collapses.

Continue Reading

Trending