Taliban 'not seeking to seize all of Afghanistan'

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

"Great nations do not fight endless wars", Trump said in his annual State of the Union address to Congress, in which he also said us troops had almost defeated Islamic State militants in Syria and it was time to bring them home.

Both sides said they had agreed in principle to a framework on two fundamental issues - that the Taliban would not allow terror groups to use Afghan soil for attacks, and that the United States would withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.

The negotiations in Moscow follow recent talks between the USA and the Taliban in Qatar.

The considerable obstacles that remain include, most obviously, the Taliban's refusal to speak to the Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, and his government.

In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said the USA has been holding constructive talks with a number of Afghan groups, including the Taliban.

The Taliban routinely exaggerates its attacks and details of other engagements, and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and Afghan officials deny the claims.

Earlier in the day, a member of the Taliban delegation, Abdul Salam Hanefi, was quoted as claiming that Washington agreed during a recent round of talks in Doha to withdraw half its ground troops by the end of April - saying the process had already begun.

Joseph Votel said Pak should play constructive role in achieving peace in Afghanistan and South Asia.

The Taliban consider the Kabul administration a United States puppet but Ghani's allies in Washington insist Afghans should lead the peace process.

Ghani's call to Pompeo seemed an attempt to re-assert his government's role in negotiations he has sharply criticised as one-sided.

"Participants at Moscow talks should consider the national interests", said Ahmad Fahim Farjam, another Herat resident.

The Moscow meeting came as broader peace talks involving the US and Taliban representatives in Doha appear to be gaining momentum.

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

This week the Taliban sent a delegation of 10 to talks underway in Moscow with dozens of prominent Afghan opposition figures, including former Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Two days of unprecedented talks in Moscow with high-ranking Afghan politicians end with disagreements over women's rights and demands for a new constitution.

Only two women are present at the talks between Taliban representatives and Afghan politicians, warlords and other powerbrokers in Moscow.

"Rest assured that no one can push us aside", he said.

USA and Taliban negotiators are scheduled to meet again on February 25 in Doha, weeks after Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, said a framework peace agreement had been reached with the militants. Yet 17 years on, the Taliban control or hold sway in roughly 50 percent of the country and carry out near daily attacks, mostly targeting the country's beleaguered security forces. He did not mention the Afghans who have died (24,000 civilians since 2009, and 45,000 members of the security forces in the last five years), let alone the nation's broader suffering in the world's deadliest conflict.

The Taliban's statement in Moscow is clearly meant to dispel the memories of women being beaten and murdered under its brutal theocratic rule, as well as forced into burqas and barred from leaving their homes without a male relative as escort.

Afghan officials say 21 people have been killed in the latest Taliban attacks in the country, including 11 policemen who were slain when the insurgents stormed a checkpoint in northern Baghlan province.

Related News:



Most liked

Red Bull, Mercedes to launch 2019 F1 cars on same day
Horner says he has grown in the past year and is "in a better place to deal with the challenges he faces". He added: "He came back and went, "Crikey, these guys have got hard decisions to make.

Grizzlies trade Marc Gasol to Toronto
The team values him as a mentor for rookie Jaren Jackson Jr., and Conley was not eager to be dealt, a separate ESPN report added. Toronto's roster will be down 11 after the trade, meaning the Raptors will likely need to make a few more additions.

United States crude oil imports, exports up last week
Oil fell on Tuesday after a survey showed euro zone business expansion almost stalled in January. Earlier, oil price came under pressure following weekly data showing rise in USA stocks.

Lawsuit alleges "inhumane conditions" at Brooklyn federal jail where power failed
The lawsuit says the outage caused " inhumane " conditions for inmates and the response was "woefully inadequate". Another inmate said he was brought to tears in fear that no one will notice if he suffers an asthma attack.

Jorginho will keep improving if Chelsea play well - Maurizio Sarri
I was dreaming about this club. "He's had a look at the players and sees the players are not doing what he wants them to do". If he wants to go, I think he has to go", he said. "I have made my decision". " Real Madrid are the best club in the world".

Pope Francis holds open-air Mass in Abu Dhabi - thousands attend
These were Christians from the peripheries, in other words, people whom Francis has made it his pontificate's mission to embrace . The Mass concluded around noon and the pope departed about an hour later on a chartered Etihad flight to return to Vatican City.

Apex Legends hits a million players seemingly much faster than Fortnite
Those items will include both "exclusive seasonal cosmetics" as well as the loot box-style Apex Packs - but no Legends . It is reassuring to have Respawn addressing these gameplay concerns early on in Apex Legends' lifecycle.

Trump Sends Out Another Tweet on Border Wall
Melania Trump has made combating bullying one of her main priorities in the White House - the thrust of her "Be Best" initiative. The speech comes on the heels of a record-long partial government shutdown, which ended on January 25 after spanning 35 days.

New video shows moment Brumadinho dam collapsed in Brazil
Neto said liquefaction caused the 2015 collapse of the Samarco dam, which led to the deaths of 19 people. Vale described the document as a routine disaster preparation plan required by regulators.

Trump wants USA military in Iraq to 'watch Iran'
A USA -led coalition provided crucial air support as Iraqi forces regrouped and drove IS out in a costly three-year campaign. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Crocodiles out on streets in Australia after devastating floods
It fears there could be up to two more metres of rain before the deluge relents, potentially leading to "catastrophic" flooding. The gates were fully opened on Sunday night sending more torrents of water into the city, swamping roads, yards and homes.

Who backs whom in Venezuela crisis
Trudeau, who has been personally involved in the crisis, spoke with Guaido by telephone on Sunday. Canada has announced a humanitarian relief package for Venezuela.

Super Bowl 2019: 'Game of Thrones' Gets Surprise Ad with Bud Light
And Peter Marino, chief communications officer for MillerCoors, said the ad was like the pot calling the kettle black. The spokesperson did not return a request for comment on how Bud Light's use of rice to differs from including corn.

Super Bowl Odds: Vegas Makes Chiefs Favorites to Win Super Bowl LIV
The Rams earned the dubious distinction of being tied with the '72 Miami Dolphins for scoring the fewest points in a Super Bowl. Tens of thousands of fans flocked to Patriot Place for a deafening send-off rally before the team departed for the Super Bowl.

Cardi B turned down Super Bowl show in support of Colin Kaepernick
Kaepernick helped start a wave of protests by kneeling during the national anthem to raise awareness of police brutality, racial inequality and other social issues.