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Top Afghan Security Officials, U.S. Commander Visit West of the Country

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(Last Updated On: June 11, 2019)

Top Afghan security officials and commander of the Resolute Support Mission General Austin Scott Millar visited Herat province on Tuesday to review the security situation of the province.

Ministry of Defense said in a statement on Tuesday that Acting Defense Minister Asadullah Khalid, Deputy Interior Minister for Security Brigadier Gen. Khushal Sadat, Gen. Scott Miller, Resolute Support Commander held meetings with the provincial governor and security leaders of  Herat and discussed the security situation of the province.

It comes as Afghan security officials and Resolute Support Commander on Monday visited Farah, where they discussed security and peace with the provincial officials.

“The people are ready to secure their lands from the Taliban,” said Mohiuddin Khairkhwa, Farah provincial police chief.

“We have made a lot of success but there is more to do.” Minister Khalid said to the group, “We are here to listen to your challenges and act on those challenges.”

According to Gen. Miller, they made the trip to the west to meet with the security pillars.

“We came to Farah with the ANDSF leadership to meet with the security leaders supporting the people’s quest for peace,” Miller said.

“Shoulder to shoulder, day and night we stand together,” said Farah provincial governor Shoaib Sabit.

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It is ‘Peace Monday’, says US envoy to Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: August 10, 2020)

Ross Wilson, the Charge d’Affaires at the US embassy in Kabul, has thanked everyone who participated in the peace talks program over the past five months and said “It’s Peace Monday”.

He said everyone who had so far participated in the process had provided valuable insight into what peace means to Afghans and what is important for the future of the country. 

In his message, Wilson explained what he tells the members of the intra-Afghan negotiating team about the peace process and its outcomes. 

“I tell them the United States supports two important outcomes for these talks. 

“First, a sovereign, united, democratic Afghanistan at peace with itself and its neighbors.

“Second, preservation and advancement of the political, economic and social gains of the past 19 years. 

He said in line with this, the US embassy will share details with the Afghan people about the remarkable progress Afghanistan has achieved since 2001.

He also said he would highlight ways the United States contributes towards its Enduring Partnership with Afghanistan and reveal some of the ambitious goals for the future. 

However, he made it clear that the intra-Afghan negotiations should and will be Afghan-owned and Afghan-led. 

In a clear message to Afghans, he said: “It’s up to all of you to determine the future of this country.”

But in doing this, he reassured all Afghans that the United States will be there, “every step of the way” to support Afghanistan. 

Wilson’s message comes at a critical time in the Afghan peace process following the Loya Jirga’s decision Sunday to release the 400 controversial Taliban prisoners in order to kick start much-needed peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

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US envoy welcomes ‘historic’ opportunity for peace

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(Last Updated On: August 10, 2020)

Zalmay Khalilzad, the United States’ Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, welcomed the Afghan Loya Jirga’s declaration and President Ashraf Ghani’s decision to sign the decree ordering the release of the 400 remaining prisoners.

In a series of tweets Monday morning, Khalilzad said these were bold steps but “after 40 years of war, a historic opportunity for peace is now possible; one that benefits all Afghans and contributes to regional stability and global security.

He said in the next few days, the US expects the completion of prisoner releases, then travel of the Afghan negotiating team to Doha, and from there the immediate start of intra-Afghan negotiations.

“The parties will embark on a process to reach an agreement on a political roadmap & a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire to end the Afghan war.

“As we have supported the Afghan people for the past 19 years, so do we now support Afghan men and women to achieve the sustainable peace for which they have long yearned,” he said.

Khalilzad stated the United States seeks a sovereign, unified, and democratic Afghanistan that is at peace with itself and its neighbors and does not pose a threat to the world. 

“Today, we are one step closer” to that peace, he said.

This comes after Sunday’s landmark decision following a three-day grand council of over 3,200 tribal elders, community leaders and politicians to release the remaining 400 ‘hardcore’ Taliban prisoners that have been a stumbling block in the way of starting intra-Afghan negotiations. 

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Afghan MMA fighter defeats his American opponent

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(Last Updated On: August 9, 2020)

Nasrat Haqparast, an Afghan MMA fighter, defeated his American opponent Alex Munoz in a UFC fight in the United States.

The match was held Saturday in Las Vegas, US.

Haqparast managed to win all three rounds on every scorecard against his rival.

By defeating Alex Munoz, the Afghan fighter has picked up his 12th win in the UFC rings.

Haqparast is the second Afghan who is fighting in the UFC after Siyar Bahadurzada.

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