Air Force: Crew not at fault for Afghan deaths in evacuation
The Air Force has concluded that air crew members acted appropriately and were not at fault for some tragic deaths during the chaotic evacuation from Afghanistan last year, when desperate Afghans clung to a military plane as it was taking off and fell to their deaths or were caught in the wheels.
Biden tells Erdogan that US and Turkey must avoid crises
U.S. President Joe Biden has told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that their countries must cooperate more and better manage disagreements after their partnership was tested by Turkey's threat to no longer recognize the American envoy and its purchase of a Russian missile defense system.
Russia says it's in sync with US, China, Pakistan on Taliban
Russia's foreign minister says the United States, China, Russia and Pakistan are working together to ensure that Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers keep their promises, especially to form a genuinely representative government and prevent the spread of extremist groups.
The Latest: US strikes at IS in retaliation for bombing
The United States military has struck back at the Islamic State, bombing an IS member in Afghanistan less than 48 hours after a devastating suicide bombing claimed by the group killed as many as 169 Afghans and 13 American service members at the Kabul airport.
As Taliban tighten their grip, Kabul airport only way out
A Taliban offensive is encircling the Afghan capital and there’s increasingly only one way out for those fleeing the war, and only one way in for U.S. troops sent to protect American diplomats still on the ground: Kabul’s international airport.
US to keep about 650 troops in Afghanistan after withdrawal
U.S. officials tell The Associated Press that about 650 U.S. troops are expected to be kept in Afghanistan to provide security for the American diplomatic presence after the Pentagon completes its military withdrawal, which is set to be largely done in the next two weeks.
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.
AP Interview: Karzai says US plan catalyst for Afghan peace
Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, March 11, 2021. Afghans are eager for peace and a recently floated U.S. draft for a deal between Taliban insurgents and the Afghan government is the best chance to accelerate stalled peace talks, ex-president Hamid Karzai said in an interview Thursday. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)KABUL – A recently floated U.S. draft for a deal between the Taliban and the Afghan government is the best chance to accelerate stalled peace talks between the country's warring sides, former Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in an interview Thursday. Karzai, considered a key player in the talks going forward, told the AP that the proposed U.S. peace plan contains important provisions that could help bring peace to Afghanistan — with some revisions by both sides. AdDespite Karzai's optimistic assessment, the Washington plan could encounter serious opposition from President Ashraf Ghani and the Taliban.
Efforts ramping up to get intra-Afghan peace talks started
Officials on both sides of Afghanistan's protracted conflict say efforts are ramping up for the start of intra-Afghan negotiations, a critical next step to a U.S. negotiated peace deal with the Taliban. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)KABUL Officials on both sides of Afghanistans protracted conflict say efforts are ramping up for a start to intra-Afghan negotiations, a critical next step to a U.S.-negotiated peace deal with the Taliban. The peace deal, which calls for the intra-Afghan negotiations, was signed by the U.S. and the Taliban in February and was seen at the time as Afghanistans best hope at peace after four decades of war. President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, who heads the High Council for National Reconciliation, the umbrella organization overseeing the government talks, says a reduction of violence or cease-fire will top their agenda. The group has reportedly completed its agenda and its 20-member negotiation team reports directly to Taliban chief Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada.
Afghan president names council for peace deal with Taliban
The negotiations were envisaged under a U.S.-Taliban peace agreement signed in February as intra-Afghan talks to decide the war-torn countrys future. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani issued a decree late Saturday establishing the 46-member council, led by his former rival in last years presidential election, Abdullah Abdullah, who is now in the government. The council will have the final say and will ultimately decide on the points that the negotiating team takes up with the Taliban. Among them is Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who signed a peace deal with Ghani in 2016 but previously was declared a terrorist by the U.S. The Taliban team answers only to the insurgents' leader, Mullah Hibatullah Akhunzada.