Weather Ag News Portfolio DTN Renewable Fuels Futures Markets Markets Page Options Charts Quotes Oats/Barley News Grain
 St. Nazianz Milling LLC
  Home  
  Contact Us  
  Login  
 
 
Printable Page Headline News   Return to Menu - Page 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 13
 
 
US-Backed Afghan Peace Talks Postponed 04/21 06:03

   An upcoming international peace conference that was meant to move 
Afghanistan's warring sides to a power-sharing deal and ensure an orderly U.S. 
exit from the country has been postponed, its sponsors announced Wednesday, 
citing a lack of prospects for meaningful progress.

   KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- An upcoming international peace conference that 
was meant to move Afghanistan's warring sides to a power-sharing deal and 
ensure an orderly U.S. exit from the country has been postponed, its sponsors 
announced Wednesday, citing a lack of prospects for meaningful progress.

   The decision came several days after Taliban insurgents, who are key to 
peace efforts, dismissed the U.S.-promoted conference in Istanbul as a 
political spectacle serving American interests.

   No new date was given for the conference, which was to have started Saturday 
under the sponsorship of the United Nations, Turkey and Qatar. Turkey's foreign 
minister said the conference was delayed until after the Muslim fasting month 
of Ramadan which ends in mid-May.

   The delay underscored the difficulties the Biden administration and NATO are 
facing in orchestrating an orderly exit from conflict-scarred Afghanistan. Both 
have said they would begin withdrawing their remaining troops -- a total of 
close to 13,000 -- from the country on May 1 and complete the pullout by Sept. 
11, no matter what.

   Just hours before the announcement of the postponement, a suicide bomber 
attacked a convoy of Afghan security personnel, wounding seven people in the 
capital of Kabul. The interior ministry said civilians and security personnel 
were among the wounded.

   The attack was the first in weeks in the capital, even as targeted killings 
have escalated and Afghanistan's security personnel have come under relentless 
attacks by Taliban insurgents. Recent months have also seen an increase in 
government bombing raids on suspected Taliban positions and increased raids by 
Afghan special forces.

   Residents fear the attack could be a harbinger of what's to come as foreign 
troops prepare to begin their final withdrawal from Afghanistan. No one took 
immediate responsibility for the attack.

   Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the conference was postponed 
because of "lack of clarity" by the participants, without elaborating.

   The U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said in a statement Wednesday 
that the conference will be held at "a later date when conditions for making 
meaningful progress would be more favorable."

   Until now, the Taliban have refused to sign on to the conference even as 
Pakistan, where their leadership council resides, has been pressing the 
hardline Islamic militia to attend.

   The Taliban have accused Washington of breaching an agreement signed last 
year under which the U.S. was to have withdrawn the last of its troops by May 1.

   But President Joe Biden, who inherited that deal with the Taliban from his 
predecessor, last week said the remaining estimated 2,500 troops would begin 
leaving on May 1. All American and NATO soldiers would be gone by Sept. 11, the 
20th anniversary of the terrorist assault on the U.S. that launched the 
U.S.-led invasion to hunt down al Qaida's leader Osama bin Laden.

   On Sunday, the Taliban issued an English-language statement on their Al 
Emara site, indicating they were not ready to attend the conference. They 
claimed that a powerful propaganda campaign had been launched, hyping 
expectations that a peace deal would be reached at the end of the planned 
10-day meeting.

   The statement said this was an attempt "to push the Taliban, willingly or 
unwillingly, to a rushed decision which was needed by America." It alleged that 
the aim of the conference was to "complete a for-show road map before the 
withdrawal of foreign forces."

   In Kabul, Afghan government-allied negotiators had anticipated a delay as 
none had received an invitation to the conference and several were without 
visas to Turkey.

   In Washington the U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price would not 
confirm the postponement but said the U.S. would continue diplomatic efforts to 
reach a peace deal.

   "When it comes to the talks in Istanbul, this gets to the point that, from 
the very earliest days of the Biden administration, we have recognized ... that 
there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan, and only through 
a political settlement and a comprehensive ceasefire will we be able to support 
a resolution that brings a security, stability, and prosperity to the people of 
Afghanistan," Price said in a statement.

 
 
Copyright DTN. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Powered By DTN