Tag Archives: Politics

Russia holds high-profile Afghanistan talks with Taliban

Source: The Guardian

Russia has hosted the most high-profile international talks on Afghanistan since the Taliban took power, calling for an injection of aid to help the crippled economy but also demanding a more inclusive government.

Senior Russian diplomats made clear that formal recognition of the Taliban regime was not on the table until it does more to improve human rights and broadens an all-male cabinet, most of them clerics from the Pashtun ethnic group.

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Khalilzad Steps Down After Three Years As U.S. Afghan Envoy, Defends His Record

Source: RFE/RL

WASHINGTON — Zalmay Khalilzad, the top U.S. envoy to Afghanistan, is stepping down from his long-standing role following the Western military pullout from that war-ravaged country, the State Department said.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on October 18 said Khalilzad, who led U.S. negotiators in talks with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, prior to the Islamist group’s takeover of Afghanistan, was leaving his position and that his deputy, Thomas West, would take over.

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Will Afghanistan’s powerful neighbours engage the Taliban?

Source: Al Jazeera

The withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan is inevitably leaving a political vacuum in South and Central Asia. The question that many are asking is who will step in to fill it. Afghanistan’s immediate neighbours – Pakistan, Iran and China – all have special interests in the country that they are likely to pursue with renewed vigour.

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Resistance Leader Masud ‘Visited Dushanbe’ For Afghan Peace Talks But Taliban Didn’t Show Up

Source: RFE/RL

Anti-Taliban resistance leader Ahmad Masud briefly visited Dushanbe for Afghan peace talks — sponsored by Tajikistan and Pakistan — but Taliban representatives failed to attend, sources close to the Tajik government told RFE/RL.

Three sources told RFE/RL that Masud’s trip to Dushanbe took place shortly after Tajik President Emomali Rahmon said on September 17 that his country would host negotiations between the new Afghan rulers and Masud’s predominantly ethnic Tajik resistance force based in Afghanistan’s Panjshir Province.

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G20 leaders agree to involve Taliban in distributing Afghanistan aid

Source: The Guardian

G20 leaders and ministers have agreed they will have no option but to involve the Taliban in sending humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, but say that this stops short of political recognition of the Taliban as a government.

The consensus view came at a video conference on the Afghan crisis at which the EU stepped up its aid to a total of €1bn (£850m), and it was agreed in principle that the IMF and World Bank could provide aid. Nearly $9bn of Afghan assets in overseas banks have been frozen by the US.

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Hundreds throng passport office in Afghan capital

Source: Reuters

KABUL, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Hundreds of Afghans flocked to the passport office in Kabul on Wednesday, just a day after news that it would re-open this week to issue the documents, while Taliban security men had to beat back some in the crowd in efforts to maintain order.

Taliban officials have said the service will resume from Saturday, after being suspended since their takeover and the fall of the previous government in August, which stranded many of those desperate to flee the country.

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Afghanistan to start issuing passports again after months of delays

Source: Reuters

KABUL, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Afghanistan will start issuing passports to its citizens again on Tuesday, a senior official said, following months of delays that hampered attempts by those trying to flee the country after the Taliban seized control in August.

The process, which had slowed even before the Islamist militants’ return to power following the withdrawal of U.S. forces, will provide applicants with documents physically identical to those issued by the previous government, the official said.

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