Taliban moves to hand control of Afghan airports to UAE company
Placeholder while article actions loadKABUL — The Taliban is handing over control of the country’s airports to a company based in the United Arab Emirates, according to a statement from the prime minister’s office Tuesday. Advertisement“The international airlines which have been away from this country in the last few months will come back to us,” he told journalists. Afghanistan’s main international airport in Kabul was ransacked in August as the city’s security forces melted away and Taliban fighters took control of the capital. But without fully functioning radar, the insurance costs associated with using the Kabul airport make commercial operations largely unviable. Afghanistan is battling a spiraling economic crisis, and some Taliban officials have called for international investment to ease unemployment and inflation.washingtonpost.com
Friction among Taliban pragmatists, hard-liners intensifies
The friction between pragmatists and ideologues in the Taliban leadership has intensified since the group formed a hard-line Cabinet last week that is more in line with their harsh rule in the 1990s than their recent promises of inclusiveness.
Friction among Taliban pragmatists, hard-liners intensifies
Friction between pragmatists and ideologues in the Taliban leadership has intensified since the group formed a hard-line Cabinet last week that is more in line with their harsh rule in the 1990s than their recent promises of inclusiveness, said two Afghans familiar with the power struggle. The wrangling has taken place behind the scenes, but rumors quickly began circulating about a recent violent confrontation between the two camps at the presidential palace, including claims that the leader of the pragmatic faction, Abdul Ghani Baradar, was killed. The rumors reached such intensity that an audio recording and handwritten statement, both purportedly by Baradar himself, denied that he had been killed.news.yahoo.com
Taliban takeover could drive covid crisis in Afghanistan as vaccinations plummet, U.N. warns
Taliban takeover of Afghanistan: What you need to knowLive updates: Afghans running out of money as Taliban bans taking dollars out of the countryFAQ: What you need to know about the TalibanDispatch from Afghanistan: The treacherous journey into Kabul airport to escape Taliban-controlled AfghanistanMore related storiesCIA Director William Burns held secret meeting in Kabul with Taliban leader Abdul Ghani BaradarTaliban sends hundreds of fighters to final province beyond its controlBritain, other U.S. allies push back on Biden’s Aug. 31 deadline to leave KabulHere’s how the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan could affect al-Qaeda and the Islamic Statewashingtonpost.com
U.S. Senate candidate says at Ohio school board meeting that masks ‘are a form of child abuse,’ draws applause
More than 125 people harangued the West Geauga Local School Board over its mask mandate, including Josh Mandel, a Republican seeking election to the U.S. Senate. Some claimed they would sue the board.news.yahoo.com
Afghan reporter makes heartfelt plea during exchange with NATO chief: ‘Please don’t recognize the Taliban’
Lailuma Sadid became the second Afghan journalist in two days to make headlines while questioning officials about the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops and what it means for Afghan women, whose rights are in danger under Taliban rule.washingtonpost.com
Taliban says co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar has arrived in Afghanistan
Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar, the militant group's political leader, arrived in Afghanistan on Tuesday for the first time in more than two decades, according to a Taliban spokesman.Why it matters: It's still unclear who will lead the new Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan as president, but Baradar is widely viewed as the public face of the Taliban movement. Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.His arrival in Kandahar came as spokesman Zabihullah Mujahinews.yahoo.com
Taliban expect US withdrawal, vow to restore Islamic rule
The Taliban warned Washington against defying a May 1 deadline for the withdrawal of American and NATO troops from Afghanistan promising a "reaction". He also reaffirmed that the Taliban were firm on their demand for an Islamic government. The Taliban, who during their rule imposed a harsh brand of Islam, now control about half of the country. The joint statement emphasized that the four countries do not support the restoration of an Islamic emirate in Afghanistan similar to the Taliban's past rule. Shaheen emphasized that the Taliban would stick to the goal of building an Islamic state.
Russia hosts Afghan peace conference, hoping to boost talks
Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, center, arrives with other members of the Taliban delegation for an international peace conference in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, March 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)MOSCOW – Russia hosted a peace conference for Afghanistan on Thursday, bringing together government representatives, the Taliban and international observers in a bid to help jump-start the country's stalled peace process. Moscow’s attempt at mediation comes as talks in Qatar between the Afghan government and the Taliban, still waging an insurgency, have stalled. Washington and Kabul have been pressing for a cease-fire while the Taliban say they will negotiate it as part of peace talks with the Afghan government. Zamir Kabulov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy for Afghanistan, told reporters that the Afghan participants in the talks showed willingness to negotiate peace.
EXPLAINER: Stakes high as Moscow opens 1st of 3 Afghan meets
Key players are attending, including U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, Afghan national security adviser Hamdullah Mohib and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who will lead a 10-member delegation. America's main goal is an Afghanistan peace deal that guarantees its national security and that of its allies. The Afghan government is corrupt and morale is low among Afghan troops. The National Afghan Security Forces are rife with so-called ghost soldiers, who exist only on paper, while enlisted men often don't get paid. At least one member of the Senate subcommittee pointed out that all sides in the Afghan imbroglio are vulnerable.
Afghan peace talks resume, but path is anything but certain
FILE - In this Sept. 12, 2020, file photo, Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, bottom right, speaks at the opening session of peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar. After more than a month of delays, escalating violence and a flurry of diplomatic activity peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government have resumed Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, in the Middle Eastern State of Qatar. When talks ended abruptly in January, just days after beginning, both sides submitted their wish lists for agendas. The priority for the Afghan government, Washington and NATO is a serious reduction in violence leading to a cease fire. AdWashington is reviewing the February 2020 peace deal the previous Trump administration signed with the Taliban that calls for the final withdrawal of international forces by May 1.
Russia steps in, trying to aid stalled Afghan peace process
Kabulov was in Pakistan, a key regional player in efforts to find a peaceful end to Afghanistan's protracted war. Few details came out of the meeting except that Afghanistan and getting to a peace deal dominated talks. Zamir Kabulov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy for Afghanistan, was in Pakistan on Friday for talks with officials. AdWashington and Kabul have been pressing for a cease-fire while the Taliban say they will negotiate it as part of peace talks with the Afghan government. Few details came out of Kabulov's meetings except a statement saying that Afghanistan and efforts to reach a peace deal dominated the discussions.
Historic Afghan peace talks fraught with uncertainty
Taliban delegation arrive to attend the opening session of the peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. The big hurdle is likely to be what to do with tens of thousands of armed Taliban fighters and the militias loyal to government-allied warlords. Taliban fighters have been battling the upstart affiliate, but the Taliban have already lost fighters to the radical militant Sunni Muslim group. Many Taliban fighters are disillusioned at their leaders entering peace negotiations and believe they could win militarily, with nearly 50% of the country already mostly in their control. Washington’s watchdog, the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction, has expressed concerns that Taliban fighters returning to their homes could be targeted by corrupt officials or threatened by authorities.
Kabul to open traditional council on release of 400 Taliban
The statement would indicate that Washington was not ready to accept a decision to deny the 400 Taliban their freedom. Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen said previously that a permanent cease-fire could be one of the first items on the agenda of negotiations between the Taliban and Kabul's leadership. The United States intends to hold the Taliban to these commitments. The intra-Afghan negotiations that Washington had hoped would begin in March have been delayed by the reluctance of Kabul to release the Taliban prisoners. The deal called on Kabul to free 5,000 Taliban and the insurgent group to free 1,000 government and military personnel.
Critics of US-Taliban deal say militants can't be trusted
It did give critics of the deal another reason to say the Taliban shouldnt be trusted. So far the U.S. has reduced U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan from 12,000 to 8,600 a target reached ahead of schedule. Critics of the deal like Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Fla., say the agreement is simply a cover for withdrawal.I have serious concerns with how this agreement has been pursued," Waltz said. I cant talk about the things that I have seen, Pompeo said on Fox News Channels Special Report. The U.N. report also reported six meetings between al-Qaida and Taliban senior leaders during the past 12 months while U.S.-Taliban talks were ongoing.
US, Russia share a complex and bloody history in Afghanistan
Moscow and Washington are intertwined in a complex and bloody history in Afghanistan, with both suffering thousands of dead and wounded in conflicts lasting for years. Now both superpowers are linked again over Afghanistan, with intelligence reports indicating Russia secretly offered bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops there. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File)ISLAMABAD Moscow and Washington are intertwined in a complex and bloody history in Afghanistan, with both suffering thousands of dead and wounded in conflicts lasting for years. Now both superpowers are linked again over Afghanistan, with intelligence reports indicating Russia secretly offered bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops there. Even as Russia and the U.S. vie for influence in Afghanistan, they are aligned in their opposition to IS.