Washington: US Special Representative on Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad is slated to visit India among other countries in the region as part of the process for an intra-Afghan political settlement, the State Department has said.
“Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad will lead an interagency delegation to India, China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan from January 8-21,” the Department said.
“He will meet senior government officials in each country to facilitate an intra-Afghan political settlement.
“The US supports the desire of the Afghan people and the international community for a political settlement that ends the 40-year conflict and ensures Afghanistan never again serves as a platform for international terrorism.”
The move comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump had a telephonic conversation during which the two leaders agreed to further strengthen bilateral relations in the year ahead.
The conversation between the two leaders took place after Trump on January 2 said that India was not doing enough for peace and stability in Afghanistan.
Khalilzad’s visit for an intra-Afghan political settlement reflects New Delhi’s stand that it is is for an “Afghan-owned, Afghan-led and Afghan-controlled” peace and reconciliation process.
Tuesday’s statement came even as the Afghan Taliban called off talks with US officials scheduled in Qatar this week reportedly over an “agenda disagreement”.
The Taliban have repeatedly rejected to hold talks on peace with the Afghan government in the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan.
The statement said that Khalilzad will continue to coordinate his efforts with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and other Afghan stakeholders to ensure an intra-Afghan peace process.
“The US goal is to promote dialogue among Afghans about how to end the conflict, and to encourage the parties to come together at the negotiating table to reach a political settlement where every Afghan citizen enjoys equal rights and responsibilities under the rule of law,” the statement said.
“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.”
Pakistan among the few countries to successfully turn tide against terrorism: Imran
Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the country condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including state-terrorism against people under illegal occupation. The PM stated that Pakistan is “among the few countries to have successfully turned the tide against terrorism”.
Addressing the 19th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit at Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Khan reiterated that Pakistan is ready to share its experience and expertise in counter-terrorism. He added that growing intolerance and Islamophobia are threatening to accentuate religious fault-lines. He further said that Pakistan will remain actively engaged in SCO’s counter-terrorism initiatives.
Speaking on Afghanistan, PM Khan said that “the conflict in Afghanistan has no military solution”, adding that Pakistan is fully supporting efforts for “peace and reconciliation, through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process”.
“Excellencies, The world stands at a crossroads. For the first time in ages, we are seeing the advent of a multi-polar global order. Epicentres of economic power and growth momentum are shifting eastwards. Regional integration is speeding up. Disruptive technologies are maturing. Threats from terrorism to climate change to narcotics to bacterial resistance continue to loom large,” said PM Khan.
“There are increasing barriers to open trade and innovation. Meanwhile, growing intolerance and Islamophobia are threatening to accentuate religious fault-lines. For its part, Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including State-terrorism against people under illegal occupation. We are among the few countries to have successfully turned the tide against terrorism,” added the Pakistan PM.
“Pakistan remains ready to share its experience and expertise in counter-terrorism. We will also remain actively engaged in SCO’s counter-terrorism initiatives. Excellencies, There is finally a realization that the conflict in Afghanistan has no military solution. Pakistan is fully supporting efforts for peace and reconciliation, through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process,” further said Pakistan PM Khan.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reiterated India’s strong stand against terrorism and appealed that countries supporting, aiding and funding terrorism must be held accountable. PM Modi highlighted the spirit and ideals of SCO to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism even as Khan looked on.
Without naming Pakistan, a country that has made state-sponsored terrorism its biggest policy to counter India for the last several decades, PM Modi said every country needs to come together, unite and fight against the scourge.
Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
Moscow: Vladimir Putin has said Russia will fight for an independent Palestinian state, and called for the issues of the Middle East to be resolved through peaceful means.
Despite international criticism over Russia’s own role in the Ukrainian crisis, Mr Putin was hailed last week by a St Petersburg Cossack group for his ability to “bring order and stop wars”.
In an address to the Arab League summit in Egypt on Saturday, Putin spoke against foreign intervention in countries’ internal disputes and spoke of the role Russia can play in diplomatic channels.
While Russia openly opposes the stance of US-backed Israel on the Gaza crisis, its position in the Middle East is complicated. Putin is one of Iran’s key allies, but as he spoke on Saturday the core nations of the Arab League engaged in air strikes on the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
His attempts to urge a peaceful solution in Yemen haven’t had much of an immediate impact – on Sunday, the Arab League agreed to the creation of a joint military forces comprised of around 40,000 elite troops to resolve the future “challenges” of the Middle East.
As one of the “Quartet” entities involved in Middle East peace negotiations, Russia has played a key role in talks about the fallout of last year’s Gaza crisis.
He told the summit this weekend: “Palestinians have the right to establish an independent and habitable state with a capital in East Jerusalem.
“Russia will continue to contribute to achieving this goal through bilateral and multilateral channels,” he said.
Trump claims Queen had fun with him during his UK visit
Washington: US President Donald Trump claimed that Britain
s Queen Elizabeth II had more fun during his state visit to the UK than in the last 25 years."I have such a great relationship, and we were laughing and having fun. And her people said she hasnt had so much fun in 25 years. Then I got criticized for it because they said we were having too much fun,” the Hill quoted Trump as saying.
Trump`s comments come two weeks after his first state visit to London to meet the 93-year-old monarch. During his three-day visit, the president dined with the Queen, members of the British royal family and other British politicians at Buckingham Palace.
Trump and the queen reaffirmed the importance of the Washington-London relationship during an elaborate state banquet.”On behalf of all Americans I offer a toast to the eternal friendship of our people, the vitality of our nations and to the long cherished and truly remarkable reign of her majesty, the queen,” Trump said in his toast during the event.
He also met Prime Minister Theresa May. Opposing Trump
s visit, thousands of people hit the streets. TheTrump Baby` blimp was flown by the demonstrators outside the Houses of Parliament, according to CNN, alongside a 16-foot robot version of Trump sitting on the toilet and tweeting.
Other activists came dressed as gorillas, with signs reading that they “only eat chlorinated chicken” — a nod to concerns in Britain that a post-Brexit trade deal with the US would mean a decline in food standards for imported produce.
Amit Shah arrives in Srinagar for 2-day visit
Srinagar: Home Minister Amit Shah arrives in Srinagar. The Home Minister is on a 2-day visit to the state where...
Lt Gen Ranbir singh reviews Amarnath Yatra security arrangements
Srinagar: Northern Army Commander, Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh on Wednesday visited units deployed for security of Amarnath Yatra and reviewed...
There was no intelligence failure in Pulwama attack: Reddy in Parliament
New Delhi: G. Kishan Reddy, Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs said there was no intelligence failure...
Amarnath Yatra security reviewed ahead of Shah’s visit
Srinagar, June 26: Ahead of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, Lieutenant General Ranbir...
Samant Goel is new RAW Chief, Arvind Kumar appointed IB head
New Delhi: The central government on Wednesday appointed Arvind Kumar, a 1984 batch IPS officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre, as...
As ‘Token of Love’, Hindus donate land for graveyard to Muslims in Ayodhya
Ayodhya: In a gesture that could ease tension between Hindus and Muslim and, perhaps, pave the way for a solution...
Assam police arrests Kashmir man for ‘obscene remark’ on Fb on slain CRPF man’s wife
Guwahati: Assam Police has arrested a person from Kulgam in Jammu and Kashmir for allegedly posting an obscene comment on...
Amit Shah to begin 2-day visit to JK from today
New Delhi: Home Minister Amit Shah will arrive in Srinagar on Wednesday afternoon to review the overall security situation in...
In RS, Oppn targets govt over media misuse, mob lynching
New Delhi, June 25: Misuse of media and social media, mob lynching and communalism were among the issues that Opposition...
Pompeo meets PM Modi, discusses key strategic issues
New Delhi, June 26: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday and discussed various...
Militant killed in Tral gunfight: Police
Police on Wednesday said that a militant was killed in a gunfight at Branpatri forest area of Tral . According...