Taliban Insists On Foreign-Troop Withdrawal At Moscow Talks

Americans now want less to do in region says scholar Vali Nasr at Adab Festival

Americans now want less to do in region says scholar Vali Nasr at Adab Festival

A powerful former Afghan warlord has said on the sidelines of peace talks with the Taliban in Moscow that he is open to constitutional changes that the movement may be seeking.

"There was unanimity of views among all participants that the war was not the solution and we should resolve our problems through intra-Afghan dialogue", said former vice president Mohammad Younus Qanooni.

The US held peace talks with the Taliban in Qatar last month that ended with signs of progress towards the withdrawal of thousands of foreign troops from Afghanistan and an end to more than 17 years of war.

Khalilzad and his team are due to meet with the Taliban again in Qatar on February 25 for more discussions.

While the Taliban have been leaking apparent details of negotiations with the USA, the State Department and White House have dismissed several claims made by the group regarding the recent talks. Pompeo "underscored the central importance of ensuring the centrality of the Afghan government in the peace process", Ghani said.

"Washington is backing Khalilzad's efforts because it could pave the way for a US withdrawal from Afghanistan - something US President Donald Trump wants to happen", Fakur said.

According to reports, the Taliban indicated that they want to amend the current Afghan constitution which they see as invalid and import of the West. No Afghan will be excluded from this process.

United States negotiators had tried to persuade the Taliban to meet Afghan officials, but Stanikzai remained vague when questioned about the circumstances under which they would ever agree to do so, the BBC said. But if the assessment was that Afghanistan is going to be critical for Indian interests in the region and beyond, then New Delhi should have been better prepared by now to protect its significant investments there.

"Ultimately, we need to get to a Taliban-Afghanistan discussion", Votel told USA lawmakers on February 5.

Sudden Outbreak Of Measles Virus In Washington County
The number of people infected with measles was an alarming 15 times higher than the lowest figure recorded back in 2016. At present there are at least 50 confirmed cases of measles in the area, with another dozen or so suspected.

She said a Taliban member had told her a woman should not be able to become president but could serve in political office.

The Taliban has instead sat down at the table in Moscow with Ghani's main rivals, including Afghan politicians and warlords-turned-politicians who were once sworn enemies of the hardline Sunni Islamist group. Taliban meet U.S. officials and attend a peace conference in Moscow.

On Tuesday afternoon he said a press release would be issued within a few hours "which will reflect the key agreements achieved at the meeting".

Their current chief negotiator, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, painted a picture of the group's current view of the role of women in society, rejected the current Afghan constitution and called for the end of U.S. presence in Afghanistan.

"However, Pakistan's actions are often a source of frustration to the United States regional efforts in Afghanistan", General Votel said.

One effect of reduced USA leverage is a greater role for Moscow, which has worked behind the scenes to solidify influence in Afghanistan.

Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai attends the opening of the two-day talks of the Taliban and Afghan opposition representatives at the President Hotel in Moscow on February 5, 2019. "Let hundreds of such meetings be held, but these would only be paper (agreements) unless there is an agreement by the Afghan government; Afghanistan's national assembly and Afghanistan's legal institutions".

Speaking to the Afghan envoys, they promised not to seek a monopoly on power but an "inclusive Islamic system" of governance for Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, Taliban forces reportedly killed dozens of members of the Afghan security forces in a series of attacks in the north of the country.

Latest News