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Trump Says Washington Working with Taliban to Reach Peace Agreement

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(Last Updated On: November 28, 2019)

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that Washington is working on an agreement with the Taliban militant group.

“You know we’re pulling way down in Afghanistan. We’re working on an agreement now with the Taliban,” Trump told Fox News on Friday. “Let’s see what happens.”

His comments come days after the Taliban released two foreign professors, American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks, in exchange for the release of three Taliban prisoners. In addition, the insurgent group released 10 Afghan soldiers following the release of their prisoners by Afghan government.

“Let’s hope this leads to more good things on the peace front like a cease-fire that will help end this long war,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

The U.S. and Taliban negotiators held at least 10 rounds of formal talks for a yearlong until they reached an agreement “in principle”. However, Trump abruptly called of the talks after Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack in Kabul that killed several Afghans including an American soldier.

“The last time I was supposed to have an agreement, then they [Taliban] thought when they came over, they thought it would be good to kill people so they could negotiate from a position of strength,” Trump told Fox News while explaining his decision of calling off the U.S.-Taliban talks.

Meanwhile, the Head of Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) Shaharzad Akbar calls for respecting the rights of war victims when the government is agrees to a prisoner swap.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s office said in a statement that “President Trump insisted on a ceasefire as precondition before negotiations”.

By Hesamuddin Hesam

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Pentagon offers payment to families of victims of botched drone strike

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(Last Updated On: October 16, 2021)

The Pentagon has offered unspecified condolence payments to the family of 10 civilians who were killed in a botched U.S. drone attack in Afghanistan in August in the final days before American troops withdrew from the country.

The U.S. Defense Department said it made a commitment that included offering ex-gratia condolence payments, in addition to working with the U.S. State Department in support of the family members who were interested in relocation to the United States.

The Pentagon had said the strike targeted an Islamic State (Daesh) suicide bomber who posed an imminent threat to U.S.-led troops as they completed their withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The intelligence failure raised hard questions about future risks, particularly whether the United States can keep track of threats from Afghanistan without a presence in the country.

The confirmation of civilian deaths provided further fuel to critics of the chaotic U.S. withdrawal, which generated the biggest foreign policy crisis yet for President Joe Biden’s administration.

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NASA probe will study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids

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(Last Updated On: October 16, 2021)
NASA launched a first-of-its kind mission on Saturday to study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, two large clusters of space rocks that scientists believe are remnants of primordial material that formed the solar system’s outer planets. Matthew Larotonda reports.
 
NASA launched a new space probe on Saturday (October 16) morning in a special 12-year mission designed to visit more asteroids than ever before.

It focuses on the Trojan asteroids, which are two large clumps of space rocks orbiting the sun. One floats ahead of Jupiter and the other behind it.

Scientists believe the rocks are leftovers from the formation of our solar system.

The probe is called “Lucy” and NASA hopes it will help us learn more about our solar system’s history.

The asteroids are also rich in carbon compounds, and may provide insights into organic materials and life on Earth.

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Turkey could run Kabul airport, says Erdogan

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(Last Updated On: October 16, 2021)

Having previously run Kabul airport, Turkey can take similar steps in the future with Qatar and Afghanistan if the three countries reach a deal, the Turkish president said on Friday.

“So far, we have had a lot of effort in Afghanistan’s infrastructure and superstructure … We were operating the Kabul Airport. In the future, if agreements can be reached, Turkey, Qatar, Afghanistan, we can take such steps,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters.

About the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s recent visit to Turkey, Erdogan said the group asked for humanitarian aid and “made requests concerning the functionality of new process in Afghanistan.”

Erdogan vowed to provide “all manner of support” to the Afghan people as long as the interim administration “takes a just stance in protecting the rights of the Afghan people.”

He said the IEA should also take a fair stance in their relations with Turkey.

An IEA delegation visited Turkey on Thursday to discuss bilateral issues, as well as cooperation on the future of Afghanistan.

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