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Russia Accuses U.S. of Ignoring Offer to Broker Afghan Peace Talks

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(Last Updated On: February 10, 2018)

The Russian Foreign Ministry accuses the United States of ignoring its offer to broker peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

The ministry announced readiness to join and help Washington to coordinate the Afghan peace process.

The Afghan government also emphasizes that peace process with Taliban will be an Afghan led-peace process.

“We support every measures by any countries for the peace in Afghanistan, but the peace talks will be led by Afghans,” said Omid Maisam, deputy spokesman of the Executive Office.

The United States has also informed Russia that Afghans will led the peace talks with Taliban.

“Russia uses Taliban for its own interest and U.S. does not want Russia’s involvement in these talks,” said Dawood Asas, former adviser of Chief Executive.

Russia has offered to host direct talks between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban as it firmly supported an early start to direct talks “in the interest of ending a fratricidal civil war” and that it was “ready to provide an appropriate platform”.

The initiative reflects Moscow’s concerns that Afghanistan might become a new staging ground for Central Asian jihadis pushed out of Syria and Iraq after the defeat of Isis in the region. Moscow claims such a scenario could destabilise Russia’s Central Asian neighbors and threaten its own security.

Despite having fought the Taliban in the 1979-89 Afghanistan war in the Soviet era, Moscow now advocates engagement because the militant group it not considered to have ambitions beyond Afghanistan, in contrast to Isis.

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Intl donors seek strong, positive signal in Afghanistan’s anti-corruption efforts

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(Last Updated On: July 9, 2020)

The Ambassadorial Anti-Corruption Group has expressed its deep concern over the slowdown in Afghanistan’s anti-corruption efforts, as documented by the recently published UNAMA annual anti-corruption report.

The group said in a statement that addressing widespread corruption is crucial for sustainable peace and prosperity in Afghanistan.

“The upcoming peace talks require all parties to demonstrate their commitment to integrity, accountability, and the rule of law by concrete actions rather than polarization through mutual accusations of corrupt practices,” the statement said.

It added that the lack of effective investigations and prosecutions, in particular of high-level suspects, is also worrisome and we urge thorough investigation of the multiple allegations of misuse of public funds.

The group urged the Afghan government to empower the Supreme Audit Office and swiftly establish the Anti-Corruption Commission.

“While relying on an interim document to fill immediate gaps, within one year, the Government should adopt a genuine anti-corruption strategy building on a thorough assessment of the previous strategy through an inclusive consultation process,” the statement noted.

It also urged substantial progress on prosecution and enforcement of court orders and warrants, particularly in high-level cases and on the strengthening of the capacity for effective, impartial, and transparent implementation of policies and strategies.

“Findings of investigations by review bodies must be public. Institutions must be competent, independent, and transparent and appointments to the new Government and related institutions, as well as their future policies, must be guided by principles of good governance, rule of law and accountability,” read the statement.

The international donors further said that it is essential to assure donors that funds are being used efficiently and for the greater good. 

“To see reforms fade or fail now would also mean a loss of these investments. Therefore, the international partners will carefully follow the progress made,” the group said. 

“At this point, a strong and positive signal is needed,” it stressed.

The Ambassadorial Anti-Corruption Group is comprised of the Heads of Mission for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, Denmark, Germany, Japan, United States of America, Australia, Canada, Italy, Norway, World Bank, NATO Senior Civilian Representative, Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan, United Kingdom (UK), and European Union (EU).

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12 Taliban insurgents killed in Paktia clashes

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(Last Updated On: July 9, 2020)

At least 10 Taliban militants including a commander of the group were killed in clashes with the Afghan forces in Paktia province, the army confirmed.

Aimal Momand, a spokesman for the Afghan military told Ariana News that the clashes broke out after a large number of the insurgents attacked outposts of the Afghan forces in Zazi Aryoub district of the province.

The incident has taken place in Shah Mohammad village in the district at around 5 a.m. Thursday.

According to Momand, the group’s commander known as Abasin was also among the deaths and seven more were wounded in the incident.

He added no casualty was inflicted on the Afghan forces.

In a separate incident, the militants attacked the Afghan army while they patrolling in Samkani district of the province, Momand said in the counterattack on Wednesday night two Taliban fighters including one Pakistani national were killed and two others wounded.

Meanwhile, the Taliban, however, claimed that its fighters have imposed casualties on the Afghan forces in Zazi Aryoub clashes, but the group’s spokesman did not provide further details.

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Senseless violence in Afghanistan must end

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(Last Updated On: July 9, 2020)

Canada and Australia join others in the international community in condemning the escalation of violence across Afghanistan. 

 We deplore the suffering and deaths of innocent civilians.

We condemn the deliberate and callous targeting of advocates for peace, and of the security forces trying to protect the population. 

We are deeply concerned that unacceptable levels of Taliban violence against Afghan forces threaten the long-delayed hopes of the Afghan people for peace. 

The recent attacks on religious leaders, healthcare workers, human rights advocates, and judicial figures are abhorrent. Those who carried out these crimes clearly intended to stop free debate. But the calls by civil society for an end to violence, and a bright and inclusive future for Afghanistan, cannot be silenced. 

We are confident Afghans will not be deterred from raising their voices to help achieve their common goal of an Afghanistan at peace, and in which the people’s wellbeing and diverse contributions are valued. We urge the full investigation of these crimes so those responsible can be brought to justice.

We continue to support inclusive, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-led negotiations as the only effective pathway to peace. It is disheartening that the restraint being shown by the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces is not mirrored by the Taliban. This is not the behavior expected of those who claim to represent the very same people who are the victims of their violence.

Together, we call on all parties to the conflict to immediately comply with UN Security Council Resolution 2532. Now is the time for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, which will allow the access so greatly needed to vulnerable Afghan communities battling the heavy impact of the COVID-19 crisis. An immediate reduction in violence and the humanitarian ceasefire will also build confidence and enable progress to be achieved in the intra-Afghan negotiations. 

The Taliban should demonstrate to fellow Afghans and the rest of the world it’s intent to undertake good faith negotiations for a peaceful future for Afghanistan. We encourage all parties to create the right conditions for the intra-Afghan talks by making clear their commitment to peace.

They must end this senseless violence now.

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