US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad announced on Twitter that he concluded the round of talks with the Taliban in Doha. “The conditions for peace have improved. It’s clear all sides want to end the war. Despite ups and downs, we kept things on track and made real strides”, he added. Khalilzad expressed that peace requires agreement on four issues: counter-terrorism assurances,

13 March 2019

Political conditions in Afghanistan do not give a green signal for a U.S. military withdrawal presently, according to US General Joseph Votel. “The political conditions, where we are in the reconciliation right now, don’t merit that,” Central Command chief Gen. Joseph Votel told the House Armed Services Committee. On Thursday, Votel stressed that he has not received any orders to withdraw from Afghanistan. Votel also

9 March 2019

The United Nations Security Council has warned in its latest report on Al Qaeda and the Islamic State that both groups maintain a significant presence in Afghanistan. The UN describes al Qaeda’s relationship with the Taliban as robust and it points out that finding international terrorist organization continues to see Afghanistan as a “safe haven” for its leadership. The new assessment was authored in

6 March 2019

Peace talks between the US and the Taliban in Qatar have yielded progress but there is still a long way to go, the US State Department said on Tuesday. US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad resumed negotiations on February 25, part of a months-long push to end the war in Afghanistan. Despite a two-day break before the weekend, negotiations continue on "a daily basis right now

6 March 2019

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo while responding to a question from farmers after his address at the “Future Farmers of America” event in Iowa, described the ongoing nature of US-Taliban talks in Doha as “incredibly complicated”. Pompeo said that he hopes there is sufficient progress in the deliberations for him to travel in the next couple of weeks to move it further. The United

5 March 2019

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for India and Pakistan to exercise restraint while urging the latter to take “meaningful” action against militant hideouts. "We encourage India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost," Pompeo said in a statement after speaking with the foreign ministers of both countries late Tuesday. The remarks came in response to recent escalation between India

27 February 2019

On Wednesday, Sima Samar, the head of Independent Human Rights Commission in Kabul while addressing a conference said that the people of Afghanistan should be involved in the peace process as they have had experience in peace agreements that people were not involved in. Afghan foreign minister Salahuddin Rabbani at the same conference expressed that it is imperative for Afghan women to have an

20 February 2019

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad met with Former Jihadi leader Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf in the latter’s residence on Monday. Khalilzad arrived in Kabul last week to brief leaders and members about the peace process. Khalilzad wrote on Twitter that “We agree that a national, inclusive, and unified Afghan negotiating team is urgent and necessary”. Khalilzad in an interview with TOLOnews on

19 February 2019

As plans to trim 1,000 or more American troops from Afghanistan are being discussed, several key U.S. lawmakers, met with President Ashaf Ghani on Saturday along the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, and assured against a wider drawdown like the one President Donald Trump has planned for Syria. Lawmakers informed, according to Defense News, that they spoke to President Ghani spoke

17 February 2019

According to a statement released by the Presidential Palace, President Ghani has strongly condemned the terrorist attack that targeted Central Reserve Police Force personnel in India’s Jammu and Kashmir state. “The government of Afghanistan expresses its sympathy and deep condolences to the Indian Government and people, and the families of the soldiers who fell victim to the incident”, the statement added. As per the

16 February 2019