Acting US Defense Secretary makes unannounced visit to Afghanistan

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani attends a two-day conference on Afghanistan at the United Nations in Geneva Switzerland

Since being appointed last September as the USA special representative for Afghan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad has carried out a number of rounds of talks with the Taliban and other regional representatives in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, India, Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. He said the U.S.is not seeking permanent military bases in Afghanistan and will leave if Kabul does not want US troops there, provided that there is no threat to USA national security from Afghanistan, particularly from terrorist groups.

Explaining the Taliban position on refusing to talk to the government in Kabul, Mr. Mujahid said that any talks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani regime would have symbolic ramifications.

The emphasis on bringing "all Afghan parties together" appeared crucial.

The US envoy's most recent talks were in Doha late last month where the two sides met for six days. US-Taliban peace talks have not included the Afghan government, which the Taliban considers US-backed puppets, and Khalilzad said recently that intra-Afghan negotiations were essential.

Khalilzad said Friday that he hoped to see a peace deal in place before Afghanistan´s July presidential elections.

A defense official told CNN that Trump at the same time also made a decision to withdraw about half of the 14,000 troops deployed to Afghanistan. But Khalilzad emphasised that any troop withdrawal would depend on conditions on the ground.

David Law eagles 18th to win Vic Open
Playing in the second last men's group at 13th Beach, Law knew he needed to eagle the par-5 final hole to get into contention. I couldn't have asked for an easier putt and luckily it dropped. "It's an incredible event, we've loved it all week".

Ariana Grande Is Feeling Bittersweet After Winning A Grammy
Grande also talked on the Zach Sang Show about Sean and Ricky's reactions to their mentions on the " Thank U, Next " single.

NBA Trade Grades: Wizards dumping Markieff Morris to Pelicans
They're four games behind the Heat for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. But, they're still planning to hold on to their star.

He has held a series of meetings with the Pakistani leadership as part of Washington's renewed push to bring the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table.

In the letter, the United States had sought PM Imran's full support to advance Afghan peace process.

Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan landed in Afghanistan for an unannounced visit Monday amid increasing uncertainty about the future of the longest-running US war in history. Over the past few weeks, a United States delegation has been engaged in talks with the Afghan officials trying to prepare for a U.S. pullout.

"It's important that the Afghan government is involved in discussions regarding Afghanistan", Shanahan told reporters on the flight.

The Trump administration's special envoy for Afghanistan is returning to the country after stops in Europe and the Middle East for an extended diplomatic tour aimed at pushing a US peace initiative.

"I have not been directed to step down our forces in Afghanistan", Shanahan said. The Taliban want all American troops to withdraw.

Related News:



Most liked

Stormi Webster Celebrates 1st Birthday with ‘StormiWorld’ Party
Jenner explained in a short and sweet Instagram caption along with a photo from the party: "i had to go all out for my baby". We can only imagine how the proud parents plan to top themselves at Stormi's second birthday.

Samsung Galaxy M30 detailed specs leak
The phone has a thickness of 8.4 mm and the weight of 175 g, it comes with a USB Type-C port and it runs Android 8.1 Oreo. The two M-Series handsets went on sale earlier this week and were well received by consumers and reviewers alike.

United States envoy: Pakistan freed Taliban leader at U.S. request
Hanafi made the troop withdrawal claim in Moscow, where Taliban delegates held talks with prominent Afghan politicians. Afghan political analyst Mushtaq Rahim said there was a backlash in Afghan civil society against those who attended.

French "Yellow Vests" Clash With Police in Nantes
But last week's official estimates were disputed both by march organisers and an independent estimate carried out for news media. Emergency services attend to a Yellow vest protester who has a serious hand injury in Paris, France, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019.

Kawhi Leonard dodges free agency questions
Following their matchup with the Knicks, Toronto will be back in action Monday at home against the Brooklyn Nets. Raptors F Kahwi Leonard returned to the lineup after missing Thursday's game at Atlanta due to a sore left knee.

Subaru Legacy Turbo bows in Chicago
In this setup, the 2020 Legacy hits 60 miles per hour from a standstill in 6.1 seconds and returns 24 mpg city and 32 mpg highway. Eight standard airbags are included, and Subaru is predicting a IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating after testing later this year.

Bala's statement on removal from Varmaa!
As the final cut of Varmaa was not acceptable to E4 Entertainment and film director, Bala is not agreeable to make any changes. However, it now appears that the production house and the filmmaker had severe creative differences over the film.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Pushes for a Green New Deal in Congress
In the end, Ocasio-Cortez scored in the primaries 58% of the vote, beating his main rival, 56-year-old Democrat Joe Crowley, 16%. "I think it is very important for the Democrats to press forward with their Green New Deal".

Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande win early Grammy awards
Ehrlich, in The Times interview, acknowledged that the Grammys "continue to have a problem in the hip-hop world". PT, with host Shaggy leading the festivities, and presenters like Questlove handing out the first Grammy Awards.

Samsung will make a 5G smartphone for AT&T too
The platform will also be 5G ready thanks to being compatible with Qualcomm's Snapdragon X50 modem . It is not yet known what model will implement next-generation 5G mobile communication services.

Spaniards demand PM’s resignation in Madrid rally
Failure by parliament to approve the budget bill could prompt a snap election before the next scheduled vote in 2020. Sanchez inherited the Catalan crisis from former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, the then-leader of the Popular Party.

Dire Chelsea suffer record Premier League defeat at Manchester City
Gonzalo Higuain and Eden Hazard did threaten at times, but they could do nothing to prevent Chelsea's humiliation. He did not have to wait much longer, however, as Sterling was felled in the box by Cesar Azpilicueta.

May urges UK lawmakers: Give me more time to get Brexit deal
May's Northern Irish coalition party also argue that it will splinter their province from mainland Britain. The sides are stuck on the issue of how to keep the Irish border open after Britain leaves.

Grammy Awards 2019 FAQ
Carlile is the most nominated woman with six nominations, including bids for song and record of the year with "The Joke". Ehrlich, in The Times interview, acknowledged that the Grammys "continue to have a problem in the hip-hop world".

Seattle receives the most snow in 70 years, bitter cold temperatures expected
Bridges in the city were closed Friday as officials planned to determine when they could be reopened, MLive.com reported . The large group of people participated in a public snowball fight on Saturday at Wright Park in Tacoma, Washington.