20 May 2019

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Thursday May 2, 2019
Kabul (BNA) Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, has sought Pakistan’s support for reducing violence in Afghanistan, an official statement said on Tuesday.
Following Khalilzad’s two-day visit to the capital Islamabad, the U.S. embassy in the Afghan capital Kabul said: “Ambassador Khalilzad requested and received support for the need to accelerate intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiations as well as a reduction in violence, concrete steps necessary for a comprehensive settlement.”
As part of his fresh tour to five countries to discuss Afghan peace, U.S.’ peace envoy visited Islamabad on April 29-30, meeting senior Pakistani officials, including Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Jawed Bajwa.
An end to the war will bring long overdue peace and stability for Afghans and an independent Afghanistan that precludes it from being used by terrorists to attack the U.S. or any other country, the statement cited Khalilzad as saying.
Kabul, New Delhi, Islamabad, Moscow and London are the destinations of Khalilzad, where he will work to build support for the Afghan peace process amongst the international community as a part of Washington's effort to "facilitate a political settlement" in the war-weary country.
Earlier this month, the U.S. expressed disappointment over postponement of the landmark peace conference between the Taliban and an Afghan peace delegation in Qatar.
Over 200 Afghan politicians and civil society representatives were set to meet the Taliban in the Qatari capital Doha for what was set to be a momentous development endorsed by Kabul and Washington.
However, Taliban opposed and mocked the large size of the Afghan peace delegation saying the conference in Doha is not a “wedding party”.
The proposed talks are since faced with a deadlock amid efforts to revive the nascent peace process as the raging war continues to claim more lives in the war-ravaged country.
Anadolu agency

Wednesday May 1, 2019
Kabul (BNA) The Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies (NESA) is holding a seminar in Ashgabat on US security policy in South and Central Asia, Trend reports with reference to the Turkmen Foreign Ministry.
The event is being held with the assistance of the Turkmen Foreign Ministry. Representatives of the ministries of defense, national security and the state border service of Turkmenistan are also taking part in the seminar.
During the seminar, which will continue its work until May 3, such issues as the analysis of US security interests in Central and South Asia, the situation in Afghanistan, fight against radicalization and extremism, as well as the general situation in the region, will be discussed, the report said.
NESA was established in 2000 and is a US Department of Defense institution.
Earlier, the State Customs Service of Turkmenistan hosted a meeting with the delegation of the US Central Command (CENTCOM) and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency under the US Department of Defense.
The parties discussed the possibilities of cooperation in the field of security and the exchange of ideas regarding the management of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear emergency cases, disaster response as a result of man-made and natural disasters, as well as problems associated with weapons of mass destruction.
Turkmenistan, having the status of positive neutrality, has a long border with Afghanistan and has repeatedly offered to hold talks in Ashgabat under the auspices of the UN to restore peace in the neighboring state.
A large-scale project to lay gas pipeline to India and Pakistan for the supply of Turkmen gas is also related to the territory of Afghanistan, where unstable situation has remained for a long time. Observers believe that the implementation of this project may contribute to the restoration of Afghanistan, as it will allow creating jobs and provide the country with guaranteed income from transit.

Saturday April 27, 2019
Kabul (BNA) The 17th legislative term of the Wolesi Jirga, or the Afghan Parliament, was inaugurated on Friday by President Ashraf Ghani, even though the final results of five provinces is awaited. As per the law, the parliament was supposed to be inaugurated earlier but was delayed due to "controversies", according to TOLOnews. The parliament inauguration was attended by senior government officials and new lawmakers. Addressing the ceremony, the Afghan President highlighted that the majority of the new parliament members are from a younger generation who will protect women's rights, human rights and other rights of Afghans.
He added that the Afghan government had no role to play in the delay of the parliament inauguration. Ghani, during his address, said that the current challenges in Afghanistan are because of the "imposed war" which has been fueled by "direct foreign support" of the Taliban. He reinforced that he would remain President of Afghanistan until the next Presidential elections, slated for September 28. The Afghan leader highlighted that the key to peace lies in unity among Afghans and in women’s participation, adding that the republic system would continue. ANI


Saturday April 27, 2019
Kabul (BNA) Representatives of China, Russia and the United States have reached a consensus and mutually called for an orderly and responsible withdrawal of foreign troops from war-torn Afghanistan as part of the inclusive Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. In a joint statement released by the US Department of State on Friday regarding the recently held trilateral meeting in Moscow (April 25) on Afghanistan peace process said, “The three sides encourage the Afghan Taliban to participate in peace talks with a broad, representative Afghan delegation that includes the government as soon as possible.”
Chinese Special Envoy Deng Xijun, Russian Presidential Representative Zamir Kabulov, and U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad attended the Moscow meeting.
“Our agreement with China and Russia yesterday along with the previous one with Europeans means we have emerging international consensus on US approach to end the war AND assurances terrorism never again emanates from Afghanistan,” Khalilzad took to Twitter as saying. Khalilzad called the consensus a "milestone" in efforts to end the 18 years of war in Afghanistan. The statement also said that the Taliban have made a "commitment" to fight the extremist Islamic State group and sever ties to Al-Qaeda and other international terrorist groups.
The Taliban have promised to "ensure the areas they control will not be used to threaten any other country," the statement read, calling on them to prevent any "terrorist recruiting, training and fund-raising." Even though Washington and the Taliban have almost reached a peace deal that has so far excluded the Afghan government, no progress has been achieved on the formula for how power would be shared between the entities following the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.
The United States, Russia and China further called on the Taliban to speak as soon as possible with a "broad, representative Afghan delegation that includes the government." “The three sides agreed on a phased expansion of their consultations before the next trilateral meeting in Beijing. The date and composition of the meeting will be agreed upon through diplomatic channels,” the statement added. Last week, a United States-led peace conference that was slated to be held in the Qatari capital from April 20 was postponed after the Taliban objected to a new delegation of Afghan government officials selected to attend the talks. The announcement came as a major blow to the ongoing efforts to stabilize peace in the war-ravaged country.


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