Connect with us

International

Afghan Taliban to ‘join’ Moscow peace talks

Agencies

Published

🕒

on

IST

PESHAWAR: The Afghan Taliban will join multilateral peace talks being hosted by Rus­sia , senior Taliban officials said , after the United States and Afghanistan turned down their invitations.

But Taliban spokesman Zabih­ullah Mujahid said they had not formally agreed to take part.

Russia invited 12 countries and the Taliban, but the United States and the US-backed Afghan government declined.

 

Representatives from Iran, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are expected to attend, officials said.

The Moscow talks underline the increasingly active role Russia is playing in Afghanistan, decades after Soviet forces withdrew from the country, with business investment plans, diplomatic and cultural outreach and small military support for the central government.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani rejected the invitation on the grounds that talks with the Taliban should be led by the Afghan government.

Russia decided to go ahead with the Moscow talks nevertheless, a diplomatic move that has angered Kabul as the meeting could complicate an ongoing US-backed peace process.

A five-member Taliban delegation led by Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanakzai, head of the Afghan Taliban’s political council in Qatar, will attend.

The majority of our top leaders showed the willingness to participate in the Moscow peace talks though some also expressed their reservations and said it would not give them any benefit on the ground in Afghanistan, said a Taliban member.

Some Taliban said the delegation would raise their demands for a withdrawal of all foreign forces, the release of all prisoners and the lifting of a ban on travel.

“This is a very good opportunity and we would like to participate and raise our genuine issues,” said another Taliban official. “We would urge these world powers to help resolve the Afghan issue as per international laws and principles.”

Even though Afghan government officials will not attend the Moscow talks, members of the High Peace Council, an Afghan body overseeing efforts to start peace talks, are expected to attend.

A US official said Washington believes all countries should support direct dialogue between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban.

Diplomatic engagement between the Afghan Taliban and the United States gained momentum last month after the US special envoy for peace in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, met the Taliban leaders in Qatar.

“We have been clear that no government, including Russia, can be a substitute for the Afghan government in direct negotiations with the Taliban,” the US official said.


Advertisement
Loading...
Comments

International

Sri Lanka bombings death toll rises to 359, 18 more suspects held overnight

Agencies

Published

on

Colombo: Police say the death toll in the Easter attacks in Sri Lanka has risen to 359 and more suspects have been arrested.
Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara also said Wednesday morning that 18 suspects were arrested overnight, raising the total detained to 58.
The prime minister warned that several suspects armed with explosives were still at large.
Another top government official said the suicide bombings at the churches, hotels and other sites were carried out by Islamic fundamentalists in apparent retaliation for the New Zealand mosque massacre last month.
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the Sri Lanka attacks and released images that purported to show the attackers. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that investigators were still determining the extent of the bombers’ foreign links.

Continue Reading

International

UN says over 250 killed, over 1,200 injured in Libya battle

Agencies

Published

on

TRIPOLI: At least 264 people have been killed and over 1,200 wounded in weeks of fighting on the outskirts of Libya’s capital, the World Health Organisation said , as African leaders gathered in Cairo to discuss the crisis.
The agency called on Twitter for “a temporary cessation of hostilities, and for all parties to respect humanitarian law”.
Eastern-based strongman Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive on the capital on April 4, as his self-styled Libyan National Army pledged “to purge the west of terrorists and mercenaries”.
Forces loyal to the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), based in Tripoli, launched a counter-attack at the weekend.
The fighting has since eased somewhat as both sides appeared to be preparing for the next phase of the battle.
Fighting in Tripoli’s southern suburbs has so far displaced at least 35,000 people, UN humanitarian coordinator for Libya Maria do Valle Ribeiro said on Monday.
“Displacement is continuing at an increasing rate every day,” she said, warning that the figures were a conservative estimate.
The two sides have reached a near stalemate since armed groups backing the GNA launched their counter-attack on Saturday.
An AFP team on the ground at the weekend confirmed that GNA-aligned fighters had pushed the frontline back several kilometres in the southern district of Ain-Zara, around a dozen kilometres south of the city centre.
Another frontline is a little further southwest, around the districts of al-Swani and Qasr ben-Ghachir, around 30 kilometres from Tripoli, on a key road between the capital and the old international airport.
Occasional bursts of gunfire — and heavier projectiles — have been audible, sometimes resonating in the city centre.
“It is calm on most fronts,” Mustafa al-Mejii, a spokesman for GNA forces, said.
“Orders were given to forces on the perimeter of Tripoli airport to consolidate their positions,” he said.
Haftar’s force said on its official Facebook page it had received “significant” reinforcements, particularly in the west.
Valle Ribeiro said civilians were being displaced every day, while some had been trapped by fire including “heavy artillery and… shelling in some densely populated parts of the city”.
“Any country that has leverage should be using that leverage to ensure that civilians can be protected,” she said.
African leaders were due to meet in Cairo at the behest of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to discuss the violence.

Continue Reading

International

Israel to name Golan settlement after Trump

Agencies

Published

on

JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he plans to name a new settlement in the occupied Golan after US President Donald Trump in appreciation of his recognition of Israel’s claim of sovereignty there.
Netanyahu, who has been on a trip to the region with his family for the week-long Passover holiday, said in a video message that he would present a resolution to the government calling for a new settlement named after the US president.
“All Israelis were deeply moved when President Trump made his historic decision to recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” he said.
Trump again broke with longstanding international consensus on March 25 when he recognised Israel’s claim of sovereignty over the part of the strategic plateau it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War.
The decision came only two weeks ahead of a tightly contested Israeli election, which saw Netanyahu win a fifth term in office.
Trump has shifted US policy sharply in Israel’s favour since taking office, most notably by recognising the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Israel annexed 1,200 square kilometres (460 square miles) of the Golan it seized in 1981, a move never recognised by the international community.
Around 18,000 Syrians from the Druze sect — most of whom refuse to take Israeli citizenship — remain in the occupied Golan.
Some 20,000 Israeli settlers have moved there, spread over 33 settlements.

Continue Reading

Latest News

Latest News1 hour ago

Govt directs hospitals to display rate list of tests, lab investigations

Srinagar, Apr 25: Government has issued a circular to all hospitals and health institutions directing them to display rate list...

Latest News2 hours ago

Chowkidaar needs your votes to win fight against ‘terror’: PM Modi in Bihar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday hit out at the opposition over terrorism and national security, saying they deny these...

Latest News2 hours ago

Kashmir NEET aspirants alloted four more centres

Srinagar: To accommodate all the 9,250 aspirants from the Kashmir Valley for this year’s National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET)...

Latest News4 hours ago

Mirwaiz, Bilal Lone visit Yasin Malik’s residence

Srinagar, Apr 25: Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Molvi Umar Farooq and Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Independent Movement chairman Bilal...

Latest News4 hours ago

VIDEO|IT raids ex-J&K Minister’s properties in Srinagar

Srinagar: Income Tax (I-T) officials on Thursday carried out raids in Srinagar city at the properties of former Jammu and...

Latest News4 hours ago

Why does ED felt to summon Sama Shabir again, Omar asks

Srinagar : The former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and National Conference (NC) vice president Omar Abdullah on Thursday...

Latest News7 hours ago

VIDEO | Two local militants killed in Bijbehara gunfight 

Anantnag, April 25 : Two militants have been killed in an encounter that raged between government forces and militants in...

Subscribe to The Kashmir Monitor via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to The Kashmir Monitor and receive notifications of new stories by email.

Join 966,065 other subscribers

Archives

April 2019
M T W T F S S
« Mar    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  
Advertisement