2020-09-30@20:47:17 GMT
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    YEREVAN, Armenia — Leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia brushed off the suggestion of peace talks Tuesday, accusing each other of obstructing negotiations over the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, with dozens killed and injured in three days of heavy fighting. In the latest incident, Armenia said one of its warplanes was shot down by a fighter jet from Azerbaijan’s ally Turkey, killing the pilot, in what would be a major escalation of the violence. Both Turkey and Azerbaijan denied it. The international community is calling for talks to end the decades-old conflict between the two former Soviet republics in the Caucasus Mountains region following a flareup of violence this week. It centers on Nagorno-Karabakh, a region that lies within Azerbaijan but...
    By Charlotte Greenfield and Gibran Naiyyar Peshimam ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Afghanistan's top peace official, Abdullah Abdullah, said on Wednesday he did not expect the result of the upcoming U.S. presidential election to dramatically change the Afghan peace process or troop withdrawal plans. President Donald Trump's administration this year brokered peace talks between the Afghan government and the insurgent Taliban to end 19 years of war, and the United States is pulling out its troops under a deal with the militant group signed in February. The withdrawal is expected to be complete in May, subject to certain security guarantees. Trump is currently lagging behind Democrat challenger Joe Biden in polls ahead of the Nov. 3 election. "Nobody can say with certainty...
    By Avet Demourian | Associated Press YEREVAN, Armenia — Leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia brushed off the suggestion of peace talks Tuesday, accusing each other of obstructing negotiations over the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, with dozens killed and injured in three days of heavy fighting. In the latest incident, Armenia said one of its warplanes was shot down by a fighter jet from Azerbaijan’s ally Turkey, killing the pilot, in what would be a major escalation of the violence. Both Turkey and Azerbaijan denied it. The international community is calling for talks to end the decades-old conflict between the two former Soviet republics in the Caucasus Mountains region following a flareup of violence this week. It centers on Nagorno-Karabakh,...
    BRUSSELS (AP) — Amid the din of diplomatic diatribes, European Union and British negotiators hunkered down Tuesday to seek compromises on everything from fishing rights to business competition rules, in a belated attempt to broker a rudimentary trade deal following the U.K.’s departure from the bloc in January. A post-Brexit transition period ends on Dec. 31, and Britain made already strained relations worse this month by announcing plans to breach the legally binding divorce agreement it signed on its departure from the bloc. The EU has responded by threatening legal action. “It is casting a dark shadow over the ongoing negotiations,” said German Europe Minister Michael Roth, whose country currently holds the EU presidency and, as the bloc’s...
    By RAF CASERT and JILL LAWLESS, Associated Press BRUSSELS (AP) — Amid the din of diplomatic diatribes, European Union and British negotiators hunkered down Tuesday to seek compromises on everything from fishing rights to business competition rules, in a belated attempt to broker a rudimentary trade deal following the U.K.'s departure from the bloc in January. A post-Brexit transition period ends on Dec. 31, and Britain made already strained relations worse this month by announcing plans to breach the legally binding divorce agreement it signed on its departure from the bloc. The EU has responded by threatening legal action. “It is casting a dark shadow over the ongoing negotiations," said German Europe Minister Michael Roth, whose country currently holds the...
    By Charlotte Greenfield ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Senior Afghan peace official Abdullah Abdullah arrived in Pakistan on Monday for meetings in a country seen as vital to the success of Afghan talks aimed at ending decades of war. During his three-day visit to Islamabad, Abdullah, a former foreign minister and chairman of Afghanistan's High Council for National Reconciliation, will meet Prime Minister Imran Khan as well as Pakistan's foreign minister. Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have long been rocky. Afghanistan and its international allies have for years accused Pakistan of backing Taliban insurgents as a way to limit the influence of old rival India in Afghanistan. Pakistan denies that and in turn accuses Afghanistan of letting anti-Pakistan militants plot attacks from...
    ISLAMABAD (AP) — Afghanistan’s top official in negotiations with the Taliban arrived in Pakistan’s capital Monday on a three-day trip during which he will meet with the country’s prime minister and other government officials. Abdullah Abdullah, who leads the Afghan High Council for National Reconciliation, was received by top government officials on arriving in Islamabad. Apart from meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Afghan reconciliation leader also will meet with President Arif Alvi, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and other officials. The council represents the Afghan government in historic peace negotiations with the Taliban which began in Qatar on Sept. 12. Those talks represent the most-serious effort yet at ending decades of war in Afghanistan that followed the 2001...
    A number of Taliban prisoners released to facilitate Afghan peace talks that began ten days ago have already “returned to the battlefield,” a lead negotiator for the Afghan government said on Tuesday. U.S.-brokered peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban – which refuses to recognize the government’s authority – started on September 12 in Doha, Qatar. In February, the U.S. agreed to gradually withdraw troops from Afghanistan if the two sides held peace talks. The agreement stipulated that the two parties would first participate in a mutual prisoner swap to build trust before negotiations. In August, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani released 400 “hardcore” Taliban prisoners as part of the final phase of the prisoner swap, which saw a total of 5,000 Taliban terrorists...
    By Aidan Lewis CAIRO (Reuters) - His assault on Libya's capital has collapsed. Foreign powers have tried to sideline him. But military commander Khalifa Haftar still sits astride oil terminals, with enough fire power and political sway to thwart any plans for peace. Having failed in his bid for national rule, Haftar, 76, is now severely diminished. His troops have been driven out of western Libya, while in his eastern stronghold foreign powers that backed him are making overtures to rivals. But his role in partially lifting an oil blockade over the past week shows that he remains a linchpin in eastern Libya, where he has built up a security apparatus over the past six years. Foreign countries are now...
    Taliban prisoners lined up at the Bagram military base in Afghanistan before their release on May 26 2020. (Jim Huylebroek/The New York Times) KABUL, Afghanistan — He was a young Afghan police officer working alongside American forces in one of the hot spots of the war, with Taliban ambushes all around. Then he turned his weapon on two U.S. Marines, killing them both. Now, he is out of prison. His attack, in Helmand province in 2011, was a serious eruption in a phenomenon that within a year would redefine the American war in Afghanistan: insider killings, often by members of the Afghan security forces who, like the police officer, were not at the time part of the Taliban. But...
    Clashes with Taliban jihadists killed at least 57 Afghan security force members Sunday across Afghanistan. The violent 24-hour period from Sunday to Monday marked the country’s “bloodiest” day of fighting since peace talks between the two sides began in Doha, Qatar, over a week ago, Reuters reported. Afghan officials documented dozens of injuries in Sunday night’s clashes, as well. In the central province of Uruzgan, the Taliban attacked government security checkpoints killing 24 members of Afghan security forces, Uruzgan Deputy Governor Sayed Mohammad Sadat said. Officials of several other provinces — including Baghlan, Takhar, Helmand, Kapisa, Balkh, Maidan Wardak, and Kunduz — reported “clashes and casualties” in their local communities, according to the news agency. In northern Balkh, the Taliban...
    KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan and the United States have discussed how Khartoum could advance Arab-Israeli peace, authorities said on Wednesday, adding the talks also covered the removal of the former hardline foe of Israel from a U.S. list of terrorism sponsors. Meeting in the United Arab Emirates, a Sudanese delegation and U.S. officials held talks on how peace could stabilise the region and secure a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian question, the ruling sovereign council said. The UAE, a leading regional partner of the United States, and Bahrain normalised ties with Israel this month in deals brokered by Washington, the first Arab states in a quarter of a century to break a longstanding taboo. In August, U.S. Secretary of State...
    By Jonathan Barrett SYDNEY (Reuters) - Former rebel military commander Ishmael Toroama has been elected as president of Bougainville, an autonomous region in the South Pacific, electoral officials said on Wednesday, and is set to lead talks seeking independence from Papua New Guinea. The general election was the first since Bougainville voted overwhelmingly for a separation from Papua New Guinea at the end of last year, with Toroama defeating an open field, the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner said. Bougainville, a mineral-rich and lush group of islands in the South Pacific, has been hampered by years of little economic progress following a decade-long civil war that claimed as many as 20,000 lives before ending in 1998. The conflict was largely fought over...
    By Idrees Ali and Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The level of violence in Afghanistan is unacceptably high and the United States expects further setbacks during talks, the Special Representative for Afghanistan said on Tuesday, as the Afghan government and Taliban remain far apart on even the most basic issues 10 days into talks meant to end two decades of war. "By any measure, current levels of violence are too high," U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad told a House of Representatives hearing. "We know that reductions are possible," Khalilzad said. Despite the difficulties, the talks are the best hope for peace in years and come as a result of a February pact between the Taliban and United States,...
    By Abdul Qadir Sediqi and Hamid Shalizi KABUL (Reuters) - The Afghan government and Taliban militants remain far apart on even the most basic issues a week into talks meant to end two decades of war that has killed tens of thousands of people. The chasm, not just on the predictably thorny problem of a ceasefire but on foundational issues, suggests major hurdles to any hopes of binding the wounds of a ravaged country. Despite the difficulties, the talks are the best hope for peace in years and come as a result of a February pact between the Taliban and the United States, allowing U.S. forces to withdraw in exchange for Taliban promises on terrorism. But the Taliban have refused...
    The only known Jewish citizen in Afghanistan says that the country’s future political system “should ensure the protection of all minorities in the country and their humanitarian rights,” Afghanistan’s TOLO News reported on Thursday. Zablon Simintov’s remarks come as U.S.-brokered peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, which began on Monday, continue in Doha, Qatar. In February, the U.S. said it would begin a phased withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan if the two sides agreed to peace talks following a prisoner swap. The Taliban refuses to consider the Afghan government’s rule over the country as legitimate. Considering itself the true ruler of Afghanistan, the jihadi terror group continues to carry out regular attacks on Afghan security forces. Simintov, believed...
    CAIRO (AP) — Yemen’s warring sides on Friday began long-awaited U.N.-brokered peace consultations in Switzerland on the exchange of prisoners, part of a deal aimed at ending a conflict that has killed thousands and set off the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Delegates from Yemen’s internationally recognized government, supported by a Saudi-led military coalition, sat down in Geneva with their rivals, the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, for talks co-chaired by the Red Cross, according to Martin Griffiths, the U.N. envoy to Yemen. Griffiths urged the parties to “release detainees swiftly” and “bring relief to thousands of Yemeni families.” A deal to trade 15,000 prisoners was considered a breakthrough during 2018 peace talks in Sweden. The negotiations produced a sequence of confidence-building measures,...
    NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Both sides on ethnically divided Cyprus on Thursday welcomed the United Nation chief’s expressed intention to soon start thawing out a frozen peace process, but it’s still unclear whether that effort could lead to full-fledged reunification talks. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres repeated on Wednesday that he intends to convene an informal meeting of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders, as well as Cyprus’ ‘guarantor’ powers — Greece, Turkey and Britain — soon after a Turkish Cypriot leadership vote on Oct. 11. Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded in the wake of a coup aimed at union with Greece. A breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the island’s northern third is recognized only by Turkey,...
    NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Both sides on ethnically divided Cyprus on Thursday welcomed the United Nation chief’s expressed intention to soon start thawing out a frozen peace process, but it’s still unclear whether that effort could lead to full-fledged reunification talks. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres repeated on Wednesday that he intends to convene an informal meeting of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders, as well as Cyprus’ ‘guarantor’ powers — Greece, Turkey and Britain — soon after a Turkish Cypriot leadership vote on Oct. 11. Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded in the wake of a coup aimed at union with Greece. A breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the island’s northern third is recognized only by Turkey,...
    WASHINGTON, Sept 16 (Reuters) – Britain’s foreign minister said on Wednesday that any threat to the Good Friday Agreement which ended the violence in Northern Ireland had come from the European Union’s politicisation of the Brexit talks, and not from London. The British government announced draft legislation last week which it acknowledges would violate its international legal obligations and undercut parts of the divorce deal, because it wanted to guarantee trade access to Northern Ireland. That has put the Brexit trade talks at risk. “The threat to the Good Friday Agreement, as it is reflected in the Northern Ireland protocol, comes from the EU’s politicisation of the issue, … our commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and to avoid any...
    U.S. trade negotiations with the United Kingdom will face bipartisan opposition if British Prime Minister Boris Johnson proceeds with a Brexit maneuver that American lawmakers fear could lead to a renewal of violence in Northern Ireland. “The United States Congress will not support any free trade agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom if the United Kingdom fails to preserve the gains of the Good Friday Agreement and broader peace process,” House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, a Democrat from New York, wrote Tuesday, referring to the 1998 deal that largely ended the Irish sectarian conflict. “If these reported plans were to go forward, it would be difficult to see how these conditions could be met.” ...
    ELTON John and ex-wife Renate Blauel have halted their bitter court battle, The Sun can reveal. Renate, 67, launched a lawsuit earlier this year over claims Sir Elton had breached the terms of their 1988 divorce deal. 5Elton John and Renate Blauel have hit the brakes on their £3million court fightCredit: Getty Her £3million legal claim alleged details aired in the singer’s hit 2018 biopic movie Rocketman and this year’s memoir, Me, had left her facing serious health problems. But court papers show the pair have agreed to try to settle the case in private. Their lawyers now have until 4pm on October 13 to reach a deal and avoid a damaging clash in open court. If a...
    National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien urged Palestinian leadership to consider a peace agreement with Israel after militants in the Gaza Strip fired off rockets Tuesday to protest the signing of normalization agreements between Israel and two Arab countries at the White House. "With respect to the Palestinians, the president has come forward with the most comprehensive plan for peace between Israel and Palestine ever," O'Brien told "Special Report." TRUMP PRESIDES OVER SIGNING OF HISTORIC MIDDLE EAST DEALS "That vision for Middle East peace that senior adviser Kushner and Secretary Pompeo and myself and others have been working on throughout the region, gives the Palestinians an opportunity to double their GDP.  It calls for a two-state solution to the Palestinian impasse, it provides territorial integrity for the Palestinians," he continued. "It's a terrific first offer for the Palestinians to...
    ISLAMABAD - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cautioned Tuesday that ongoing peace negotiations over the future of Afghanistan will be a “difficult” process but will help reduce the cost of war and risk to America.  Pompeo spoke in Washington as the Taliban and representatives of the Afghan government continued their meetings in Doha, Qatar, for a fourth day to finalize an agenda for substantive peace negotiations to end decades of Afghan conflict. The U.S.-brokered talks or intra-Afghan negotiations kicked off Saturday in the Qatari capital, where the two negotiating teams have been tasked to agree on a permanent cease-fire and a power-sharing deal to govern Afghanistan after the withdrawal of all U.S. and allied troops.    “We are...
    Representatives of the Taliban jihadist organization told Afghan media outlets on Sunday that the goal of their participation in peace talks held this weekend in Doha, Qatar, with the legitimate Afghan government and the United States was to negotiate the liberation of Taliban jihadists and a return of Islamic law to the country. A 21-person delegation featuring at least four former Guantánamo Bay detainees represented the Taliban at the talks, attended by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and senior Afghan government negotiator Abdullah Abdullah. Both Pompeo and Abdullah expressed enthusiasm that the talks would result in the full withdrawal of American troops from the region and thus an end to the longest war in American history, spanning nearly two decades....
    ISLAMABAD - A new U.S. public survey has found that two-thirds of supporters of President Donald Trump "strongly" or "somewhat" support his deal with the Islamist Taliban to extricate the United States from the 19-year war in Afghanistan.  Nearly 60% of supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden also favor the landmark U.S. agreement with the Afghan insurgent group, according to a poll conducted by New York-based Eurasia Group Foundation.  “Ending the war in Afghanistan is extremely popular, and Americans of all political persuasions want to honor the recent agreement,” the foundation noted in its findings released Monday.  The deal signed in February 2020 commits all U.S. troops to leave the South Asian country within 14 months, ending what...
    ISLAMABAD (AP) — The U.S. peace envoy for Afghanistan was in Pakistan on Monday to express his gratitude for Islamabad’s role in helping launch the much-awaited negotiations between the Taliban and Afghan representatives, the Pakistani military said. The historic negotiations kicked off over the weekend in Qatar, a Middle East nation where the Taliban have maintained a political office for the past several years. The start of negotiations was the latest in a flurry of diplomatic accomplishments by the Trump administration ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November. While the start of the talks on Saturday was mainly about ceremony, the hard negotiations on agreeing to a road map for a post-war Afghanistan will be held behind closed...
    By Abdul Qadir Sediqi KABUL (Reuters) - Khan Agha has endured years of violence in Kunduz, but it was the Taliban's attack on the strategic city in northeastern Afghanistan, as the government and insurgents were preparing for historic peace talks, that unnerved him. "Like me, the majority of Kunduz residents are living in fear," Agha, a 46-year-old driver, told Reuters. "Looking at what's going on, anything could happen at any time." The Taliban offensive, encircling and almost seizing Kunduz late last month, came just weeks before the Kabul government sat down with their sworn enemies in Doha on Saturday to start historic talks aimed at ending 19 years of war that has killed and wounded more than 100,000 civilians. The...
    BEIJING (AP) — A look at recent developments in the South China Sea, where China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple territorial disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons. The waters are a major shipping route for global commerce and are rich in fish and possible oil and gas reserves. ___ PHILIPPINES WAVERS ON ARBITRATION RULING The South China Sea remained a point of contention at talks last week between China and the Philippines, with Manila issuing tough words before withdrawing them without explanation. The Philippine defense chief said his country would adhere “without any possibility of compromise” to a 2016 international arbitration ruling that invalidated most of China’s sweeping claims in the South China Sea. Defense Secretary Delfin...
    DOHA, Qatar — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Breitbart News exclusively — after meetings between Afghan government officials and Taliban leaders as part of the beginning of intra-Afghan peace negotiations — that the process is moving along on pace for a full withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by the spring of 2021. “I do,” Pompeo said when asked if the process is moving on pace with a Feb. 29 agreement between the United States and Taliban leadership that laid out the framework for the United States to reduce the troop count to zero by April or May of next year. Pompeo told Breitbart News that the process for a full withdrawal of all U.S. forces by...
    Members of the Taliban delegation attend the opening session of the peace talks with the Afghan government, Doha, Qatar, Sept. 12, 2020. Karim Jaafar/AFP via Getty Images Six months after the United States signed an historic accord with the Taliban of Afghanistan, the Islamic militant group has entered into talks with the Afghan government in Doha, Qatar. Meeting with the Afghan government was a condition of the U.S.-Taliban deal. That deal will end America’s deadly and costly 19-year war in Afghanistan. But it did not resolve the Taliban’s organized military campaign to unseat the Afghan government and rule the country under strict Islamic law. In Doha, the two sides are expected to debate a comprehensive ceasefire and discuss what...
    By Abdul Qadir Sediqi KABUL (Reuters) - Taliban and Afghan government forces clashed across Afghanistan hours after the start of long-awaited peace talks in Doha on Saturday, officials said, underscoring the uphill challenge of settling a 19-year insurgency. Talks between the two sides were to begin shortly after a U.S.-Taliban agreement in February, but began only over the weekend after months of delays, caused in part by continuing Taliban offensives in the war-torn country. "With the start of intra-Afghan talks we were expecting the Taliban to reduce the number of their attacks, but unfortunately their attacks are still going in high numbers," Fawad Aman, a spokesman for the Afghan defence ministry, said. Representatives from a number of countries who spoke...
    DUBAI (Reuters) - Qatar's ruler Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani met representatives of both the Afghan government and the Taliban to wish them success during peace talks taking place in the Gulf state, Qatar state media reported on Sunday. Talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban began in the Qatari capital Doha on Saturday, aimed at ending 19 years of war in Afghanistan. Sheikh Tamim met with the Afghan High Council for National Reconciliation Chairman Abdullah Abdullah and the accompanying delegation, QNA said on Twitter. Sheikh Tamim told Abdullah he wished the negotiations success and to achieve the Afghan people's aspirations for national unity, progress and prosperity, Qatar News Agency said. He expressed the same remarks in a...
    Exactly 19 years and one day after the 9/11 attacks masterminded by Afghanistan-based Al Qaeda terrorists killed nearly 3,000 people in the U.S., Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joined representatives of the Taliban and the Afghan government in Qatar on Saturday to kick off peace talks. The Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that saw four hijacked planes turned into weapons of war precipitated the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan that deposed the Taliban government, which had provided safe haven to Usama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda followers. The peace talks that began Saturday are designed to come up with a power-sharing settlement between the Taliban and the U.S.-backed elected Afghan government to bring an end to the fighting that has...
    HISTORIC peace negotiations between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban will begin on September 14. The country has been torn apart by war for twenty years over fierce disagreements on how the nation should be governed. 6Afghan President Ashraf GhaniCredit: Reuters The peace talks, hosted in Qatar, will feature a panel of representatives from each side. What are the peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban? Peace talks between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban have opened in Qatar's capital after decades of hostility between the two. Almost 20 years of war has resulted in tens of thousands dead. 6Both sides have been hostile about their demandsCredit: Reuters In the first six months of 2020 alone,...
    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lauded Afghan peace talks, which kicked off in Qatar on Saturday, saying the effort was “truly a momentous occasion” for the country. The talks mark the first time the Taliban and the Afghan government have met face to face to end decades of violence which has engulfed the country. The US and Taliban signed a separate deal in February that promised a phased withdrawal over US troops over the next 14 months. In exchange, the Taliban promised to halt attacks on US soldiers and prevent the re-emergence of Al Qaeda or similar terrorist groups in the territory they control. The Afghan government was notably not part of the US-Taliban accord. “Afghans have at long...
    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lauded Afghan peace talks, which kicked off in Qatar on Saturday, saying the hassle was “actually a momentous event” for the nation. The talks mark the primary time the Taliban and the Afghan authorities have met head to head to finish many years of violence which has engulfed the nation. The US and Taliban signed a separate deal in February that promised a phased withdrawal over US troops over the following 14 months. In alternate, the Taliban promised to halt assaults on US troopers and stop the re-emergence of Al Qaeda or comparable terrorist teams within the territory they management. The Afghan authorities was notably not a part of the US-Taliban accord. “Afghans...
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has arrived in Qatar to attend peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, in a bid to end 19 years of war and conflict in Afghanistan. Pompeo arrived late on Friday in Doha, ahead of an opening ceremony on Saturday for the peace talks aimed at ending two decades of war that has killed tens of thousands of combatants and civilians. The opening ceremony came one day after the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States that triggered American military involvement in Afghanistan.  The intra-Afghan negotiations grew out of a U.S.-Taliban agreement in February, which outlined the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan by May 2021 in exchange for peace...
    The U.S. on Saturday welcomed the beginning of negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government, in what is hoped to be the beginning of the formation of a power-sharing government to end decades of devastating conflict in the country. “Today is truly a momentous occasion,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at the beginning of negotiations in Doha, Qatar. “Afghans have at long last chosen to sit together and chart a new course for your country. This is a moment that we must dare to hope.’ JAMES CARAFANO: IN AFGHAN-TALIBAN PEACE TALKS, HERE'S MESSAGE POMPEO NEEDS TO GIVE  Pompeo spoke at the opening ceremony, where the Taliban also keep a political office. Talks will include issues such as a permanent cease-fire, women’s...
    ISLAMABAD -- Historic negotiations between the Taliban and Afghanistan's political leadership opened in Qatar on Saturday, offering the best chance of peace after decades of war.The U.S. had hoped negotiations would start within two weeks of Feb. 29, when it signed a peace deal with the Taliban, effectively acknowledging a military stalemate after nearly two decades of conflict. The agreement called for direct intra-Afghan negotiations but required both sides to release prisoners as a sign of good faith ahead of talks.The Afghan government, which was in the throes of a political crisis over a disputed presidential election held last September, balked at being told to free 5,000 Taliban but eventually relented.U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who invested a year and...
    Afghanistan transferred six “hardcore” Taliban prisoners to Doha, Qatar, on Thursday ahead of intra-Afghan peace talks in the city this weekend, Afghanistan’s Khaama Press reported on Friday. The prisoners boarded a flight from Kabul to Doha on Thursday evening, two government sources told Reuters. The half dozen prisoners “are considered ‘high risk’ after masterminding some of the worst attacks in Afghanistan, killing foreign nationals and known drug kingpins,” Afghanistan’s Ariana News reported. France’s foreign ministry on Thursday objected to the release of two of the Taliban prisoners, who had been found guilty of killing two French citizens. “France reiterates its firmest opposition to the release of individuals convicted of having committed crimes against French nationals, in particular soldiers and humanitarian...
    Historic negotiations between the Taliban and Afghanistan's political leadership opened in Qatar on Saturday, offering the best chance of peace after decades of war. The U.S. had hoped negotiations would start within two weeks of February 29, when it signed a peace deal with the Taliban, effectively acknowledging a military stalemate after nearly two decades of conflict. The agreement called for direct intra-Afghan negotiations but required both sides to release prisoners as a sign of good faith ahead of talks. The Afghan government, which was in the throes of a political crisis over a disputed presidential election held last September, balked at being told to free 5,000 Taliban but eventually relented. Get Breaking News Delivered to Your...
    DOHA (Reuters) - Afghan government representatives and Taliban insurgents, along with U.S. diplomats and other dignitaries gathered in Doha on Saturday for the start of historic peace talks aimed at ending decades of war that have killed tens of thousands of combatants and civilians in Afghanistan. Here are the highlights, including from speeches at the event: U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO: "It took hard work and sacrifice to reach this moment, and it will require hard work and sacrifice to keep it alive, and to take advantage of it so that the talks result in a durable peace." "I urge you to engage the representatives of all Afghan communities - including women, ethnic and religious minorities, and the victims...
    KABUL (Reuters) - Talks seeking to end 19 years of war in Afghanistan started this weekend, with an opening ceremony on Saturday. Negotiators representing the Kabul government and Taliban insurgents are scheduled to sit face to face in the Qatari capital of Doha from Sunday. The intra-Afghan negotiations grew out of a U.S.-Taliban agreement in February. It outlined the withdrawal of foreign forces from by May 2021 in exchange for peace guarantees and Taliban promises to open negotiations with the Afghan government, which the group had previously refused. WHAT ARE THE TALKS ABOUT? The first round is expected to be largely administrative, leading to further rounds to broker a comprehensive peace deal to end the fighting. Negotiators will aim to...
    By KATHY GANNON, Associated Press ISLAMABAD (AP) — Historic negotiations between the Taliban and Afghanistan’s political leadership opened in Qatar on Saturday, offering the best chance of peace after decades of war. The U.S. had hoped negotiations would start within two weeks of Feb. 29, when it signed a peace deal with the Taliban, effectively acknowledging a military stalemate after nearly two decades of conflict. The agreement called for direct intra-Afghan negotiations but required both sides to release prisoners as a sign of good faith ahead of talks. The Afghan government, which was in the throes of a political crisis over a disputed presidential election held last September, balked at being told to free 5,000 Taliban but eventually relented. U.S....
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Qatar Saturday for the opening of peace talks there between the Taliban and the Afghan government. Hopefully, the Taliban have figured out by now that these talks are not simply a face-saving exercise for the U.S. to exit South Asia. If they haven’t, Pompeo ought to make that crystal clear. The U.S. is a partner for peace. When President Trump talks about ending “endless wars,” that’s what he means. Ending them. Not running away from them. Folks with a short memory will forget that not long ago — after a horrific terrorist attack on the Afghan capital of Kabul — Trump abruptly canceled talks with the Taliban and talk of U.S. troop withdrawals,...
    The opening ceremony for talks between the Afghan government and Taliban insurgents began in Qatar’s capital Doha on Saturday, marking the start of negotiations aimed at ending two decades of war that has killed tens of thousands of combatants and civilians. The 19-year conflict is also the United States’ longest overseas military action, vexing three successive presidents. The ceremony began at 9 a.m with a recitation from the Koran, followed by opening comments by Qatar’s foreign minister. Major players in the process, including Afghanistan’s peace council chairman Abdullah Abdullah and Taliban leader Mullah Baradar Akhund, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are also scheduled to speak. Officials, diplomats and analysts say that although getting both sides to the negotiating...
    DOHA (Reuters) - United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged warring Afghan sides to seize the opportunity to strike a peace deal at the opening ceremony for long-awaited negotiations in Doha on Saturday. "The choice of your future political system is, of course, yours to make," he said, adding that he hoped the solution would protect the rights of all Afghan and protect social progress, including the presence of women in public life. "I cannot strongly enough urge you, seize this opportunity, he added. The talks in the Qatari capital are aimed at ending 19 years of war in Afghanistan. (Reporting by Reuters Islamabad, Kabul and Dubai newsrooms; Writing by Charlotte Greenfield; Editing by Kim Coghill) Copyright 2020 Thomson...
    The opening ceremony for talks between the Afghan government and Taliban insurgents began in Qatar’s capital Doha on Saturday, marking the start of negotiations aimed at ending two decades of war that has killed tens of thousands of combatants and civilians. The 19-year conflict is also the United States’ longest overseas military action, vexing three successive presidents. The ceremony began at 9 a.m with a recitation from the Koran, followed by opening comments by Qatar’s foreign minister. Major players in the process, including Afghanistan’s peace council chairman Abdullah Abdullah and Taliban leader Mullah Baradar Akhund, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are also scheduled to speak. Officials, diplomats and analysts say that although getting both sides to the negotiating...
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — After decades of conflict, Afghanistan’s warring sides will open long anticipated negotiations Saturday in search of a lasting peace that will also provide an exit for U.S. and NATO troops after nearly 19 years. The mostly ceremonial opening in the Gulf state of Qatar, where Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgents maintain a political office, is the latest in a flurry of diplomatic activity by the Trump administration ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November. Saturday’s launch of intra-Afghan talks, attended by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, follows the U.S.-brokered recognition of Israel by two Gulf nations — Bahrain on Friday and the United Arab Emirates earlier this month. The talks in Doha bring together...
    By KATHY GANNON and AYA BATRAWY, Associated Press DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — After decades of conflict, Afghanistan’s warring sides will open long anticipated negotiations Saturday in search of a lasting peace that will also provide an exit for U.S. and NATO troops after nearly 19 years. The mostly ceremonial opening in the Gulf state of Qatar, where Afghanistan's Taliban insurgents maintain a political office, is the latest in a flurry of diplomatic activity by the Trump administration ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November. Saturday's launch of intra-Afghan talks, attended by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, follows the U.S.-brokered recognition of Israel by two Gulf nations — Bahrain on Friday and the United Arab Emirates earlier...
    A clutch of the “most dangerous” Taliban prisoners has been transferred from prison in Afghanistan over the objections of key American allies in an effort to jumpstart peace talks this weekend. “None of us are happy about the release of prisoners that committed violence or against our forces, but we want to keep the big picture in mind, unhappy as we are,” said Zalmay Khalilzad, a State Department special representative, on the eve of a landmark meeting in the peace process. Khalilzad, who brokered the United States-Taliban peace deal earlier this year, defended the release of six men as part of a broader prisoner swap that functioned as a “confidence-building measure” between the Taliban and the U.S.-backed central government....
    KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan government representatives arrived in Qatar on Friday ahead of peace talks there with the Taliban, said a spokesman for Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the government's High Council for National Reconciliation. Long-awaited peace negotiations are scheduled to begin in Doha on Saturday and follow a U.S. withdrawal agreement Washington signed with the Taliban militant group in February. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to attend a ceremony in Doha on Saturday to mark the start of the talks. (Reporting by Abdul Qadir Sediqi, writing by Alexander Cornwell, Editing by Catherine Evans) Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad said on Friday he hoped talks between the Afghan government and Taliban due to begin on Saturday would lead to an end to the country's long-running war, but said many challenges remain.Khalilzad told reporters in a telephone briefing that the United States would engage the participants and be willing to assist if needed, but the two sides would decide how to proceed. "This is a new phase in diplomacy for peace in Afghanistan. Now we are entering a process that is Afghan-owned and Afghan-led," he said, adding they the talks would hopefully bring about a roadmap to end the war. "These negotiations are an important achievement, but there are... significant...
    Reuters September 11, 2020 0 Comments United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed long-awaited “historic” peace talks between the Afghan government and the insurgent Taliban while on his way to the opening event in Qatar’s capital of Doha, late on Thursday. The United States has been attempting to ease negotiations between the two warring sides since signing a troop withdrawal deal with the militants in February, but the process was hit by delays over disagreements about the release of prisoners. “It’s taken us longer than I wish that it had to get from February 29 to here but we expect Saturday morning…to have the Afghans sitting at the table together prepared to have what will be contentious discussions...
    (CNN)As the peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban begin this weekend, there are concerns among current and former US national security officials that efforts to develop a solid path towards peace in Afghanistan could be jeopardized by President Donald Trump's goal of declaring victory by withdrawing American troops before November's election."The long-term success of a peace process, which will take a tremendous amount of time and effort once the parties come to the negotiating table, is at odds with short term political win for the Trump administration," said a State Department official. Current and former national security officials say that the Trump administration kickstarted the peace process in general, including the intra-Afghan negotiations, because most Americans agree...
    KABUL (Reuters) - United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed long-awaited "historic" peace talks between the Afghan government and the insurgent Taliban while on his way to the opening event in Qatar's capital of Doha, late on Thursday. The United States has been attempting to ease negotiations between the two warring sides since signing a troop withdrawal deal with the militants in February, but the process was hit by delays over disagreements about the release of prisoners. "It's taken us longer than I wish that it had to get from February 29 to here but we expect Saturday morning...to have the Afghans sitting at the table together prepared to have what will be contentious discussions about how to move...
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters on the way to Doha, Qatar, that the United States is committed to ending the war in Afghanistan once and for all and eventually reducing American forces on the ground there to zero. Pompeo is, as President Donald Trump announced at a White House press briefing on Thursday, attending talks between the Afghan government and Taliban leadership in Doha to begin the peace process and eventually end America’s longest war. The summit, which will be on Saturday, comes a day after the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Pompeo will arrive in Doha the evening of Sept. 11, and has a series of meetings lined up with Afghan and Taliban...
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will leave Washington on Thursday to travel to Doha to take part in the start of long-delayed intra-Afghan peace talks, President Donald Trump said. "Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be departing this evening on a historic trip to Doha ... for the beginning of intra-Afghan peace negotiations," he said. (Reporting by Alex Alper and Arshad Mohammed; Additional reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Sandra Maler) Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.
    A start date for talks between the Taliban and an Afghan delegation that includes members of the government will begin Saturday, in a diplomatic breakthrough that could bring the war-torn country a step closer to peace after four decades of war. Taliban spokesman Dr. Muhammad Naeem said in a statement that the group “would would like to declare its readiness to partake in the inauguration ceremony of Intra-Afghan negotiations” between Sept. 12 and Sept. 22. He added that the talks are to be held in Qatar where the Taliban maintain a political office. The announcement comes on the eve of the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. that precipitated the invasion that toppled the Taliban 19 years ago....
    By KATHY GANNON, Associated Press ISLAMABAD (AP) — The long-awaited peace talks with the negotiating team selected by the Afghan government are to begin on Saturday in the Gulf Arab state of Qatar, the Taliban said in a statement on Thursday. The start of negotiations was was also announced by Qatar's foreign ministry and Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, confirmed in a tweet that their delegation will be in Qatar's capital of Doha for the talks. The talks — known as intra-Afghan negotiations — were laid out in a peace deal that Washington brokered with the Taliban and signed in February, also in Doha, where the Taliban maintain a political office. That deal aims to end Afghanistan’s...
    ISLAMABAD – The long-awaited peace talks with the negotiating team selected by the Afghan government are to begin on Saturday in the Gulf Arab state of Qatar, the Taliban said in a statement on Thursday. The start of negotiations was was also announced by Qatar's foreign ministry and Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, confirmed in a tweet that their delegation will be in Qatar's capital of Doha for the talks. The talks — known as intra-Afghan negotiations — were laid out in a peace deal that Washington brokered with the Taliban and signed in February, also in Doha, where the Taliban maintain a political office. That deal aims to end Afghanistan’s protracted war and bring...
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    Afghan government negotiators delayed a trip to the capital of Qatar for peace talks with the Taliban because of logistical issues and disagreements over the transfer of prisoners, according to a report on Monday. The two sides were expected to meet Monday in Doha to work out details of a peace plan the US signed with the Taliban in February, but the Afghan team delayed its departure, Reuters reported, citing a government and diplomatic sources. Negotiators hit a speed bump over the exchange of prisoners as well as a dispute over how the opening ceremony would be conducted, including who should be given time to speak and even how the flags would be arranged. Freeing six prisoners from Afghan prisons...
    Islamabad (AP) — Taliban officials say a senior delegation returned early Saturday to Qatar, paving the way for the start of peace talks with the Afghan government that are expected to take place in the tiny Gulf state. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. The negotiations are the second, critical part to a peace deal the U.S. signed with the Taliban in February in Doha. Washington has ramped up pressure on Afghans on both sides of the conflict to get started with their negotiations to decide what a post-war Afghanistan might look like, how rights of women and minorities would be protected, and how the tens of...
    CAIRO (AP) — Sudan’s transitional government and a powerful rebel group that controls large swaths of the country’s restive south said Friday they have agreed to resume peace talks, a development that boosts hopes of ending the country’s decades-long civil wars. The commitment comes days after the government reached a deal with other rebel groups to quell conflicts stemming from the rule of ousted autocrat Omar al-Bashir. The Sudan Liberation Movement-North, led by Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu, and Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok signed a joint letter of intention late Thursday in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Abada, stressing the “necessity” of finding “a comprehensive and just political solution” to the conflicts. It did not specify when the talks would restart. Negotiating...
    A trilateral alliance between the U.S., the United Arab Emirates and Israel on regional security could be in the works after an Israeli delegation flew to the UAE on Monday night to cement a historic "normalization" deal with President Donald Trumps adviser Jared Kushner in tow, reports Axios. The commercial flight was the first to the influential Gulf monarchy, which agreed to normalize relations in August. The pact is the first such accommodation between an Arab country and Israel in more than 20 years and was forged largely through shared fears of Iran. Israel and the UAE on Tuesday agreed on cooperation in financial services and discussed scientific, trade and cultural cooperation on the visit. Israeli officials hope the trip will...
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that there are "many more unpublicized meetings with Arab and Muslim leaders to normalize relations with the state of Israel" following its historic peace agreement with the United Arab Emirates brokered by the United States earlier this month. The comment comes on the heels of a formal decree by the ruler of the UAE on Saturday ending the country's boycott of Israel, which has opened trade and commerce between the two nations. The decree formally eliminates a 1972 law on the UAE's books since just after the country's formation, which mirrored the widely held stance by Arab nations at the time that recognition of Israel would only come after the Palestinians had an independent state of their own. Netanyahu...
    President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner is headed to the Middle East on a diplomatic tour to convince some of the region’s most important leaders to attend a White House signing ceremony to mark the normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Kushner is expected to hit up the leaders of Egypt and Jordan — which established formal diplomatic ties with Israel in 1979 and 1994 respectively. He will also make an appeal to the rulers of Oman and Bahrain, sources told CNN. Kushner is reportedly scouting the possibility of other peace agreements in the region. Regional rumblings have indicated that a similar deal between Israel and Sudan could be in the works, with...
    “Duck Dynasty” star Sadie Robertson opened up about how her faith helped guide her with instant fame and during the coronavirus outbreak. “My life just dramatically changed really fast,” the 23-year-old reality star shared with Fox News in a piece published Friday. “You think about how social media affects any young person and then think about social media with millions of followers… [it] definitely will affect you in certain ways.” (RELATED: A&E Reverses Suspension Of ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star) “Not that I didn’t struggle with insecurity and didn’t have my hard days, but I felt like I always had just a grounding, you know, to not just completely lose it,” she added.   View this post on Instagram   A post...
    ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN - Top leaders in Afghanistan announced Thursday that U.S.-backed peace talks with the Taliban insurgency will start next week to negotiate a political settlement to the country’s long conflict. The proposed dialogue stems from a landmark pact the United States sealed with the Taliban in February to promote a negotiated settlement to the Afghan war, the longest U.S. overseas military intervention. Abdullah Abdullah, who leads the state peacemaking High Council for National Reconciliation, told a seminar in Kabul his team “is well prepared” to enter what he referred to as intra-Afghan negotiations. Just hours later, Afghan Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar confirmed to an online forum in Washington that his government has moved to finally settle the dispute...
    Outgoing presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway has encouraged President Donald Trump to hold a meeting with leaders of Black communities at Camp David to help relieve racial tensions throughout the country. Conway said the summit could attract leaders who are " genuinely interested in unifying the country," which could help to end the riots around the country. "What we have seen, night after night, are people taking to Kenosha the way that theyve been in Minneapolis and Portland and Seattle and so many places, Jennifer. And looting, vandalizing. Two people lost their lives overnight. I mean, theyre walking around with huge firearms," Conway said during an interview on the Showtime program "The Circus: Inside the Craziest Political Campaign on Earth". Demonstrations...
    Outgoing presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway urged President Trump to host a summit with black leaders at Camp David to help heal racial divisions in the country. A summit between Trump and community leaders who are "genuinely interested in unifying the country" could be an important step in ending the riots that have been taking place throughout the country, Conway said. She explained her idea in an interview with Jennifer Palmieri on Showtime's The Circus: Inside the Craziest Political Campaign on Earth, which is set to air on Sunday night. "What we have seen, night after night, are people taking to Kenosha the way that they've been in Minneapolis and Portland and Seattle and so many places, Jennifer. And...
    Afghan security personnel inspect the rubble of Afghanistan’s intelligence services building after a car bomb blast claimed by the Taliban killed at least 11 people, July 13, 2020. AFP via Getty Images Five months after the United States signed an historic accord with the Taliban – the Islamic militant group that sheltered al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks – Afghanistan’s peace process is faltering. Peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban were a condition of the U.S.-Taliban deal, which ended America’s deadly and costly 19-year war there but did not resolve the Taliban’s organized military campaign to unseat the Afghan government and rule the country under strict Islamic law. The two...
    President Trump will send two top deputies to the Middle East in the coming days in hopes of building on the recent peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo leaves Sunday for a six-nation tour that will take him to Israel, Bahrain, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Sudan, sources told the Associated Press Saturday. Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, heads to Israel, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Morocco a few days later. Both trips aim to finalize one or more normalization deals patterned after the Israel-UAE agreement, a US-brokered accord that established full diplomatic relations and direct travel between the two nations. Trump announced the surprise pact...
    President Trump will ship two prime deputies to the Center East within the coming days in hopes of constructing on the current peace settlement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo leaves Sunday for a six-nation tour that can take him to Israel, Bahrain, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Sudan, sources instructed the Related Press Saturday. Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, heads to Israel, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Morocco a number of days later. Each journeys purpose to finalize a number of normalization offers patterned after the Israel-UAE settlement, a US-brokered accord that established full diplomatic relations and direct journey between the 2 nations. Trump introduced the shock...
    President Trump will send two top deputies to the Middle East in the coming days in hopes of building on the recent peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo leaves Sunday for a six-nation tour that will take him to Israel, Bahrain, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Sudan, sources told the Associated Press Saturday. Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, heads to Israel, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Morocco a few days later. Both trips aim to finalize one or more normalization deals patterned after the Israel-UAE agreement, a US-brokered accord that established full diplomatic relations and direct travel between the two nations. Trump announced the surprise pact in...
    Sudan has fired a foreign ministry spokesman one day after he claimed that the Muslim-majority African nation had engaged in peace talks with Israel. Sudan’s foreign ministry spokesman Haydar Sadiq told Sky News Arabia on Tuesday that Sudan “aspires towards a peace agreement with Israel… a relationship of equals built upon Khartoum’s interests.” Continuing, Sadiq said, “There’s no reason for the enmity to continue…We do not deny the communication between the two countries.” “Both Sudan and Israel will benefit from such an agreement if it is signed, at the end of this year or the beginning of next year,” the spokesman said, referring to Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen’s remarks over the weekend that he believes Sudan and Israel will agree to...
    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Afghan government said Monday it would not release the last 400 Taliban prisoners it is holding until the insurgents free more captured soldiers, defying a traditional council held last week and further delaying intra-Afghan talks sought by the United States. The talks, which were laid out in a peace deal signed between the United States and the Taliban in February, were expected to begin on Thursday but are now postponed indefinitely. The ruling by the traditional council, or jirga, which called for the immediate release of the Taliban prisoners, had raised hopes of a breakthrough in the process. The U.S.-Taliban peace deal called on the Taliban to free 1,000 government and military personnel and...
    By Abdul Qadir Sediqi KABUL (Reuters) - Some Western nations including France and Australia have urged Afghanistan not to free all of a final batch of prisoners demanded by Taliban militants, officials said, posing a further possible complication to long-awaited peace talks. The Afghan government, under pressure from the United States as it withdraws its troops from a war which started in 2001, agreed last week to begin releasing the final 400 prisoners demanded by the Taliban as a pre-condition to start peace talks in Qatar. It was not immediately clear whether the Western objections were delaying the talks, which are set to begin in Doha soon after the remaining 320 prisoners are freed. Eighty have already been released. Two...
    PARIS (Reuters) - The resumption of peace negotiations remain a priority to reach a just solution in the Middle East, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter on Sunday. Macron said he had spoken with Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority. "I told him of my determination to work for peace in the Middle East," Macron said. (Reporting by Gus Trompiz; Editing by David Goodman) Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.
    An Afghan woman involved in negotiations between the government and the Taliban to end a 19-year war in the country was injured in an “assassination attempt,” officials said. AFGHANISTAN BEGINS RELEASING LAST TALIBAN PRISONERS AS PEACE DEAL FORGES AHEAD Fawzia Koofi, who is also a women's rights activist and a strong critic of the Taliban, was attacked late Friday afternoon near the capital of Kabul while she was at a market with her sister in the Qarabagh district, Tariq Arian, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry said. Afghan politician Fawzia Koofi speaks to media before the "intra-Afghan" talks in Moscow, Russia, in 2019. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin) Gunmen opened fire on Koofi and she suffered "minor injuries." The head of the Afghan...
    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A female member of Afghanistan’s peace negotiating team and a former parliamentarian survived an assassination attempt, Afghan officials said Saturday. Tariq Arian, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said that Fawzia Koofi was attacked late Friday afternoon near the capital of Kabul returning from a visit to the northern province of Parwan. Koofi is part of a 21 member team charged with representing the Afghan government in upcoming peace talks with the Taliban, following a U.S. deal with the militants that was struck in February. The head of the Afghan peace delegation, Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, tweeted that Koofi had survived the attack and was “in good health.” No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Both...
              Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio. At the top of the third hour, Carmichael commented on Joe Biden and Kamala Harris non-mask wearing hug proving their blatant disdain for public health policies related to COVID. He added that Biden had always been on the wrong side of foreign policy decisions during the Obama presidency and found it funny that he tried to take credit for the recent Middle East peace deal orchestrated by President Trump. Leahy: Crom...