Sunday, February 28, 2016

Peace Talks

HPC Chief Appointed. News reports say that Sayed Ahmad Gailani has been appointed as the new Chief of the Afghan High Peace Council. Deputies have been appointed as well and include: former Afghan VP Karim Khalili, Habiba Sarabi, Mawlavi Khabir, and others.

Afghan Embassy Statement. A press release has been distributed by the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, D.C. entitled "Statement on Participation of Taliban Groups in Upcoming Peace Talks", February 24, 2016.

Taliban Unaware of Peace Talks Plans. It seems that the Taliban's office in Qatar will not be joining the peace talks soon. A spokesman says that all foreign troops must leave Afghanistan first before it will join in peace talks with the Afghanistan government. There are other pre-conditions as well. Looks like the fighting goes on. (Radio Free Europe, Feb 24, 206).

Peace Push Criticized. Not everyone is happy with the big move forward to conduct peace talks with the Taliban. Read about Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum view on all of this in "Key Afghan Warlord Criticizes Kabul's Peace Push", Voice of America, February 24, 2016.

Can Talks Succeed? Some think the talks will actually take place (b/t Taliban & govt). Hmmm. We shall see. But just because they do talk; does that mean anything will get accomplished? I don't think so. Ahmed Rashid provides us his thoughts on the topic in "Afghanistan Taliban: Can talks succeed?", BBC News, February 27, 2016.

AAN Analysis. Tomas Ruttig of the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) provides an update to the peace process in In Search of a Peace Process: A 'new' HPC and an ultimatum for the Taleban, February 26, 2016.

Time Not Right for Talks? Some Afghans believe the time is not right for peace talks with the Taliban - thinking that the negotiations could lead to unfavorable compromises with an enemy that remains far from beaten on the battlefield. Read more in "Some think time not right for talks with Taliban", Stars and Stripes, February 21, 2016.

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