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Survey finds majority of Americans support Trump’s deal to end war

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(Last Updated On: September 15, 2020)

A survey by New York-based Eurasia Group Foundation has found that two-thirds of US President Donald Trump’s supporters are in favor of his deal with the Taliban to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan. 

The results of the survey, released Monday, found “two-thirds of Trump supporters either strongly support or somewhat support the details of the negotiations.” 

The deal, signed in February in Doha, commits all US troops to leave Afghanistan within 14 months, ending what has become America’s longest war.

In return, the Taliban agreed to cut ties with and prevent terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda from operating in the country and to begin peace talks with Afghanistan government negotiators.  

Nearly 60 percent of supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden also favor the US deal. 

“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.

Fewer than 10 percent of those surveyed opposed the agreement, while one-third remained neutral.

“Since last year, the portion of respondents who believe the US should stay in Afghanistan until all enemies are defeated has dropped by half — from 30 percent to 15 percent,” the survey noted. 

The US-Taliban agreement led to the start of much-awaited peace talks on Saturday between Taliban leaders and Afghan government negotiators. 

The dialogue, officially known as intra-Afghan negotiations, is being hosted by Doha, Qatar – where US and Taliban negotiators sealed their deal.

Talks were supposed to have started in March but delays over the release of thousands of Taliban prisoners and continued attacks by the insurgent group stalled the start of talks. 

However, after the release of all but seven Taliban prisoners, the first round of talks got underway this past weekend. 

In keeping with their agreement, the United States has drawn its troops level down to 8,600 from 13,000 and has stated a further drawdown to 4,500 will be done by November. 

In addition, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that the US was on a path to zero troops in Afghanistan by March or April next year. 

According to VOA news, former US Vice President Biden supports the withdrawal plan but wants the Pentagon to keep a small military footprint in Afghanistan to counter any threat of terrorism.

In an interview with VOA, the co-author of the Eurasia Group Foundation, Mark Hannah said Americans seem to have lost patience with the war. 

“As we enter the 20th year of the conflict in Afghanistan, the American people appear to have lost patience with an interminable war which has drifted from its original mission, and which appears all but unwinnable,” he said. 

“I think they wisely understand that all the military might in the world can’t easily vanquish amorphous, non-state adversaries and that America’s continued presence in Afghanistan is neither making Americans safe nor serving some vital national interest,” said Hannah.

The report also stated that respondents of all political parties generally agree the US should negotiate directly with hostile nations if doing so might help avoid conflict, essentially rejecting the logic that doing so would unacceptably legitimize unsavory regimes. 

“Republican and Democratic respondents both think peace is best achieved by prioritizing the domestic needs of the US, and neither opts for the unilateral use force to stop human rights abuses abroad,” the report stated.

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Health officials and experts meet in Kabul over spread of lumpy skin disease

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(Last Updated On: August 10, 2022)

A seminar was held in Kabul on Tuesday to discuss the ongoing spread of lumpy skin disease (LSD) in livestock in Afghanistan.

Experts from Kabul University, along with representatives of the Ministries of Public Health, Agriculture and Livestock and municipalities met Tuesday to discuss the dangers of this virus.

Delegates attending the seminar pointed out the need to prevent the spread of the disease in the country.

According to health officials, this virus is transmitted by some species of mosquitoes, ticks and other blood-feeding insects but is not transmitted to humans.

“This virus has spread from eastern and southeastern provinces such as Laghman, Nangarhar and Kunar, but currently, this virus does not have a vaccine, and fortunately, this disease does not transmit to humans,” said Shirshah Sadat, dean of Kabul University’s Faculty of Veterinary Sciences.

Nasir Ahmad, the representative of the Ministry of Public Health also said: “This virus is problematic for food health, especially for people suffering from malnutrition.”

“This virus is transmitted from one animal to another by mosquitoes and flies and the source of its transmission should be eliminated, and quarantine and vaccines are said to be good ways to fight this disease,” said Asadullah Samadi, a university professor.

The representative of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock said that a campaign to curb the spread of this virus will be launched in cooperation with international organizations in all provinces in the near future.

The virus has in recent years been detected in Kunar, Nangarhar, Laghman and southeastern provinces of Paktia, Paktika, Khost, Logar and Ghazni.

The disease was endemic in many African countries for years, but spread to other parts of the world over the years. The disease first appeared in South Asia in July 2019, with Bangladesh reporting an outbreak. A month later, it was identified in India – which has the world’s largest bovine population – and then in China.

The infection is caused by the Capripox virus – which is genetically similar to the viruses that cause goat pox and sheep pox – and has been termed “an emerging threat to livestock worldwide” by health experts.

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Two IEA forces and 4 Daesh fighters killed in Kabul clash 

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(Last Updated On: August 4, 2022)

Four Daesh militants were killed and a fifth was arrested in an operation in Kabul on Wednesday. 

According to Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), forces had conducted a raid on an “important nest of the enemy” in Karte-e-Sakhi area in PD3. 

The operation was launched at about 11.30am but a shootout between IEA and Daesh militants broke out, which lasted several hours. The situation was eventually brought under control and a cache of weapons and ammunition was recovered. 

Mujahid said in a series of tweets that the Daesh cell had been planning to attack Shiites in the Kart-e-Sakhi area during the upcoming Muharram. 

Meanwhile, the ministry of interior said in a statement that two security personnel, including a policewoman, were killed in the standoff and four IEA soldiers were wounded. 

 

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Iranian energy ministry delegation to visit Kabul over water rights

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(Last Updated On: July 29, 2022)

Iran is reportedly sending a delegation from the ministry of energy affairs to Afghanistan to discuss their water share rights regarding the Helmand River.

According to Iran’s IRNA news agency, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian told Afghanistan’s acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in a phone conversation that he is dispatching the delegation in the near future in order to resolve issues around water.

IRNA reported that Amirabdollahian raised the issue of recent heavy rainfall in Afghanistan and expressed hope that the “artificially created obstacles” in the way of the flow of water towards Iran will be eliminated and Iran will receive its water share from the Helmand River.

Amirabdollahian also reportedly told Muttaqi that receiving their share of water will be an important index for Kabul in terms of showing how committed the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) is about meeting “their international commitments”, IRNA reported.

Amirabdollahian said the people of Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan and their representatives in Parliament are seriously demanding their share of water and that unless the issue is resolved quickly, “it will affect the other issues in bilateral cooperation negatively”, IRNA reported.

According to IRNA, Muttaqi in turn welcomed the delegation’s upcoming visit and said Afghanistan is committed to giving Iran their share of water from the Helmand River, which flows into the country.

Amirabdollahian said that a joint team of technicians will survey the river’s path and ensure both countries benefit from the water.

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