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Khalilzad calls on all parties to peace to start negotiations as soon as possible



(Last Updated On: August 16, 2020)

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation on Sunday urged all parties to the Afghan peace process to accelerate the initiative and to start intra-Afghan negotiations as soon as possible. 

In a tweet condemning the attempted assassination of peace negotiator and political activist Fawzia Koofi, Khalilzad said the attack had been a “cowardly and criminal act by those who seek to delay and disrupt the Afghan peace process.”

He said Koofi’s voice was an important one in the process as she has been a strong advocate of women’s rights throughout the process. 

Unknown gunmen shot Koofi on Friday afternoon. She survived the attack but was shot in her right hand. 

The incident took place on the Kabul-Parwan highway when Koofi and her sister stopped their vehicle to purchase something along the way. 

Khalilzad said meanwhile the US was relieved she escaped without serious injury but he called on all sides “who seek peace to not only condemn the attack but to accelerate the peace process and start intra-Afghan negotiations” as soon as possible. 

The Afghan government hoped talks would start in Doha Sunday but this has not yet happened and no confirmed date has been released. 

However, the Taliban issued a statement on Saturday rejecting the Afghan government as legitimate. 

In a statement published on their website, the Taliban said it “does not recognize the Kabul administration as a government but views it as western imported structure working for the continuation of American occupation.”

The group also said it would only “accept and have made preparations for negotiations that were described in the historic Doha agreement and those are intra-Afghan negotiations that cover all parties to the Afghan conflict.”

Initially, the Afghan negotiation team was scheduled to leave for Doha on Wednesday. Their departure was then moved to Thursday but the team has still not left Kabul. 

No official reasons for the delay have been given nor have dates been released as to when talks will begin. 

However, UNAMA tweeted on Sunday that its officials had met with the Taliban’s political commission in Doha on Saturday and that they had “expressed support” for talks to start this coming week. 

UNAMA stated that a reduction in violence was also needed in order to improve the atmosphere for negotiations. 


Elon Musk begins Twitter poll on reinstating Trump’s account



(Last Updated On: November 19, 2022)

Twitter owner Elon Musk launched a poll Friday on the social media platform asking if former US President Donald Trump should be allowed back on the platform.

“Reinstate former President Trump,” Musk wrote in a post which garnered more than 4.4 million impressions at the time of publication, Anadolu Agency reported.

More than 55% of users voted “yes,” while 44% said “no.”

Hours earlier, the American billionaire implied that he was mulling whether to reinstate Trump’s Twitter account.

“Trump decision has not yet been made,” tweeted Musk, as he announced three high-profile reinstatements of accounts that were banned by the social media giant.

“Kathie Griffin, Jorden Peterson & Babylon Bee have been reinstated,” said Musk.

Trump had about 88.8 million followers when Twitter permanently suspended the former US president’s account in January 2021, citing his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol and the potential for more violence.

Musk had forecast a Trump return in May when he called the expulsion “morally wrong and flat-out stupid.”

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IEA says it has eradicated war and corruption in Afghanistan



(Last Updated On: November 17, 2022)

The Prime Minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, said at a meeting on Wednesday with officials from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that the Islamic Emirate has been able to eliminate war and administrative corruption in the country and pave the ground for progress and development.

He said that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has created an aid fund for Afghanistan and they will help Afghanistan in health, education, and other fields in addition to humanitarian aid.

An OIC official meanwhile said it will stand by Afghanistan and we will continue its cooperation with Afghanistan in the areas of prosperity, stability, and development.

The Prime Minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund, meanwhile welcomed the delegation of the OIC, and said, “You will see the real facts and the efforts of the Islamic Emirate in various sectors.”

He said that the Islamic Emirate has been able to eliminate war, insecurity, murder, destruction, and corruption in the country.

In conclusion, the IEA will not allow anyone to use Afghanistan soil against other countries, he said. 


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Explosion in busy Istanbul street leaves at least 4 dead



(Last Updated On: November 13, 2022)

An explosion on Istanbul’s popular pedestrian Istiklal Avenue on Sunday afternoon has left at least four people dead and a number of people injured, a senior official told Associated Press.

Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya tweeted that the explosion occurred at about 4:20 p.m. Istanbul time and that there were deaths and injuries, but he did not say how many. The cause of the explosion was not clear.

Al Jazeera also reported at least four people were killed and 38 others injured.

However, according to the Associated Press, Turkey’s media watchdog imposed a temporary media ban on reporting of the explosion, which means broadcasters cannot show videos of the moment of the blast or its aftermath. 

The Supreme Board of Radio and Television has imposed similar bans in the past, following attacks, accidents and some political issues.

Footage on social media showed ambulances, fire trucks and police at the scene. Social media users said shops were shuttered and the avenue closed down.

Broadcaster CNN Turk meanwhile reported 11 people were injured. 

The avenue is a crowded thoroughfare popular with tourists and locals, lined by shops and restaurants.

Turkey was hit by a string of deadly bombings between 2015 and 2017 by ISIS (Daesh) and outlawed Kurdish groups.


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