Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah while addressing ceremony to mark 15th anniversary of Afghanistan Constitution on Wednesday said there will be no compromise on citizenship rights and republic system in talks with Taliban.
“Except for provision which says Afghanistan is a republic country, all other provisions of the Constitution could be amended,” said CE Abdullah , “A peace which ignores citizens’ rights is only a dream which is not possible.”
CE Abdullah added that Taliban wants to violate people’s rights by making excuses of foreign forces presence in Afghanistan.
With regards to postponement of the presidential elections CE Abdullah reiterated that there is no political considerations behind that.
“Presidential election was postponed not for political interest, but for transparency and fairness,” said CE Abdullah, “Upcoming election should be held in a much better manner”
He also said that formation of interim government not in the interest of Afghans.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday informed that Afghanistan and Iran have made progress on signing the joint comprehensive cooperation document and the two sides are waiting for two out of five committees, to finalize their talks.
Iran and Afghanistan have held talks with five committees over signing this document and so far, talks have been finalized by three of them. These are the committees of water, refugees and culture, according to the foreign ministry.
“We agreed with the committees of water, culture and refugees. But our disagreements have not been solved with the committees of security and economic and transit, so discussions should continue,” Sebghatullah Ahmadi, MoFA spokesperson said.
One of the issues Iran and Afghanistan have disagreed on so far, is the issue of water and now talks have been finalized on this.
“We have reached the demands we wanted. And the Helmand River Treaty will be implemented fully by the two sides,” according to Ahmadi.
President Ashraf Ghani’s special envoy for regional affairs on consensus around peace and the head of High Peace Council (HPC) secretariat, Mohammad Omar Daudzai, in his visit to Pakistan, met with Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday, the HPC said in a statement.
The two sides discussed accelerating the Afghan peace process, strengthening of bilateral relations between the two countries, and a joint meeting of Afghanistan-Pakistan religious scholars, which was previously discussed and promised by Pakistan, according to the statement.
The statement also says that Pakistani Foreign Minister vowed to take practical steps in this respect.
Also, President Ghani’s Special Envoy Omar Daudzai on Tuesday met Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, head of Pakistan’s Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam.
HPC says that in this meeting, Rehman vowed support to the Afghan peace. The two sides also discussed Afghan-Pakistani clerics meeting.
Daudzai will also meet Pakistani military officials, political and religious leaders to discuss Afghan peace process in his 4-day stay in Pakistan.
US Ambassador to Afghanistan, John R. Bass, rejected reports on US-Taliban meeting in Qatar.
Ambassador Bass tweeted the reports of the talks on Wednesday were “inaccurate” and called on the Taliban to speak with fellow Afghans as much as they, “talk to the media.”
This comes after media sources quoting senior Taliban members said on Tuesday that Afghan Taliban representatives and US officials will sit down for two days of peace talks on Wednesday in Qatar but Afghan government officials will not be involved.
US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has started another round of multi-nation trip on Afghan Peace.
Envoy Khalilzad will lead an inter-agency delegation to India, China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan from January 8 – 21, according to a statement by The US Department of State.
“He will meet with senior government officials in each country to facilitate an intra-Afghan political settlement,” according to the statement.
In this trip, Special Representative Khalilzad will meet with Afghan government officials and other interested parties to support and facilitate an inclusive peace process in Afghanistan.
“Special Representative Khalilzad continues to coordinate his efforts with President Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah, and other Afghan stakeholders to ensure an intra-Afghan peace process,” the statement added.
During his last trip in December, Special Representative Khalilzad reiterated that the only solution to the conflict is for all parties to sit together and reach an agreement on the political future of Afghanistan with mutual respect and acceptance.
It is not clear if Khalilzad will meet with Taliban representatives on this trip. Taliban have so far denied to meet and discuss with the Afghan government about a peaceful solution to the Afghan conflict.