Saturday, 14 December, 2019

Afghan leader rejects foreign interference as talks advance

Afghanistan Eid al-Adha Afghan leader rejects foreign interference as talks advance
Deanna Wagner | 12 August, 2019, 19:47

Afghanistan has ruled out suspension of presidential elections following the ongoing peace talks between U.S. and Taliban, media reports said.

TALIBAN and USA negotiators have wrapped up their latest round of talks for a deal that would see America shrink its troop presence in Afghanistan, both sides said today.

Last month, the Afghan government announced a 15-member team to directly negotiate an eventual peace agreement, a process that insurgents say will not begin until they first reach an agreement with the USA on withdrawal of global troops.

Effective July 2018, access to full reports will only be available with a subscription. The fate of Afghanistan will be decided here in this homeland. Over the last few days, the two sides focused on technical details. "We don't want anyone to intervene in our affairs", Ghani told an Eid-related gathering at the presidential place in Kabul.

U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is hoping to reach a peace deal by September 1, weeks before Afghanistan's presidential election.

The Taliban has so far refused to negotiate with the Western-backed government in Kabul, calling it a "puppet regime". The attack killed 14 people and wounded 145, majority civilians.

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Patrick Crusius, 21 , is charged with capital murder, but he could eventually face federal hate crime and federal firearm charges. At least 22 people were killed and more than a dozen others were hospitalized, including two with critical injuries.

But on August 11, as Afghans were marking the Muslim festival of Eid Al-Adha, U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad expressed hope that "this is the last Eid where Afghanistan is at war".

The Taliban control roughly half of Afghanistan and are at their strongest since the US-led invasion toppled their five-year-old government in 2001 after the group had harbored Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. More than 2,400 US service members have died in Afghanistan since then.

"The peace will be a nationwide peace, not regional, partisan or ethnic, the peace will be belonging to all Afghans", Ghani said.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday again took a swipe at the ongoing US -led peace effort. We don't want a peace that would cause people to leave their country. The American and allied troops that remain are conducting strikes on the Taliban and the local Daesh affiliate, and working to train and build the Afghan military.

The President also called for Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace talks, emphasizing that no talks could deliver result in the absence of Afghan government's delegation.

The US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation formally concluded their combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014.