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Republic’s peace team fully prepped for next round of talks: Abdullah

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(Last Updated On: January 17, 2021)

Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, said Sunday that the Afghan Republic’s negotiating team will accelerate the peace talks in Doha.

Addressing a virtual meeting with the ambassadors of a number of foreign countries and representatives of international entities in Kabul, Abdullah stressed the importance of regional and international consensus around the ongoing peace talks in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

“I cannot stress more on the need for consensus in the region and also consensus-building, with our partners in the international community, party participation of your excellencies… today shows the keenness on the part of our partners,” Abdullah said.

Abdullah stated that the Afghan team arrived in Doha on time and is ready to negotiate with full authority on any issue related to the agenda.

“They left Kabul reassured of broad consensus about the pursuit of negotiations on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and presenting a unified voice together that is what they are doing,” Abdullah said.

He added that a comprehensive ceasefire and a reduction in violence are the priorities of the Afghan peace team.

“When it comes to us, of course, achieving an inclusive peaceful settlement is our goal and preserving that achievement of the past 20 years and the sacrifices which are the results of the sacrifices of our people and these are the guiding principles for our negotiating team,” Abdullah noted.

The peace talks resumed 12 days ago in Doha after the Republic’s team and the Taliban’s team took a three-week break.

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Ghani extols virtues of peace, says it’s a basic right for all Afghans

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(Last Updated On: February 26, 2021)

President Ashraf Ghani said on Thursday that peace is not just a dream but a goal and Afghanistan has a road map to achieve it.

Speaking at a national youth debate – “Peacebuilding, Government-Building and Market-Building” – Ghani stated it is a fundamental right of a society to live in peace, something the Afghan people have been denied for 40 years.

The president said that maintaining a Republic system was of utmost importance and that power belongs to the people. He also said power can only be transferred from one person to another with the people’s consent.

On the issue of the peace process, Ghani said the roadmap for peace is not just about negotiations with the Taliban, but also about assurances from the world “that no one has the right to interfere in our territory”.

Ghani said: “The national, regional and international environment is ready for peace, but we must act with prudence and care. Our fundamental wish is to end 40 years of violence in the country, and we will not allow violence in any form.”

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Biden revokes Trump ban on many green card applicants

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(Last Updated On: February 26, 2021)

U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday revoked a proclamation from his predecessor that blocked many green card applicants from entering the United States, Reuters reported.

Former President Donald Trump issued the ban last year, saying it was needed to protect U.S. workers amid high unemployment due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden rejected that reasoning in a proclamation on Wednesday rescinding the visa ban and said it had prevented families from reuniting in the United States and harmed U.S. businesses.

Biden has pledged to reverse many of Trump’s hardline immigration policies.

Reuters reported that Biden left in place another ban on most foreign temporary workers.

In October, a federal judge in California blocked Trump’s ban on those foreign guest workers as it affected hundreds of thousands of U.S. businesses that fought the policy in court.

Curtis Morrison, a California-based immigration attorney, who represents people subject to the ban said Biden will now have to tackle a growing backlog of applications that have been held up for months as the pandemic shut down most visa processing by the State Department. The process could potentially take years, he said.

“It’s a backlog that Trump created,” Morrison said. “He broke the immigration system.”

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment, Reuters reported.

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Pakistan wants political solution to Afghanistan issue: Qureshi

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(Last Updated On: February 25, 2021)

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Thursday that the establishment of peace in Afghanistan is essential for peace in Pakistan and the entire region.

Qureshi said this during discussions with the President Ashraf Ghani’s Special Representative Muhammad Umar Daudzai who arrived in Islamabad on Thursday.

During the meeting, Afghan peace talks, the regional situation and matters of mutual interest were discussed.

Qureshi said Pakistan wants a political solution to the Afghanistan issue through a comprehensive dialogue process.

He said Pakistan sees the process as a shared responsibility and will continue to play a conciliatory role.

“Pakistan has deep concerns over the increase of violence in Afghanistan,” Qureshi said.

Expressing concern over the high levels of violence, Qureshi emphasized the need for all parties to play a positive role in furthering the process of negotiations while reducing the levels of violence.

Qureshi said after the restoration of peace in Afghanistan, Pakistan will continue its role in helping to rebuild and develop the war-torn country.

Daudzai thanked Pakistan for its efforts in the peace process.

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