Qatar diplomat emphasizes engagement with Taliban at forum
Qatar’s diplomatic point man for talks with the Taliban says countries should engage Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers, warning that isolation could lead to a wide-reaching security threat, as happened when al-Qaida used the country as a base to plot the 9/11 attacks.
UN: Afghanistan's Taliban want to address General Assembly
The United Nations says the Taliban, Afghanistan’s new rulers since last month, have challenged the credentials of Afghanistan’s former U.N. ambassador and are asking to speak at the U.N. General Assembly’s high-level meeting of world leaders that began Tuesday.
FBI releases newly declassified record on Sept. 11 attacks
A declassified FBI document related to logistical support given to two of the Saudi hijackers in the run-up to the Sept. 11 attacks details contacts the men had with Saudi associates in the United States but doesn't provide proof that senior kingdom officials were complicit in the plot.
Pentagon chief: al-Qaida may seek comeback in Afghanistan
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says the al-Qaida extremist group that used Afghanistan as a staging base to attack United States 20 years ago may attempt to regenerate there following an American withdrawal that has left the Taliban in power.
Pakistan launches anti-polio drive amid surge in coronavirus
A health worker administers a polio vaccine to a child in Lahore, Pakistan, Monday, March 29, 2021. Despite a steady rise in coronavirus cases, Pakistan on Monday launched a five-day vaccination campaign against polio amid tight security, hoping to eradicate the crippling children's disease this year. Chaudary)ISLAMABAD – Pakistan on Monday launched a five-day vaccination campaign against polio despite facing another surge of coronavirus cases, the second anti-polio drive in 2021 as the country struggles to eradicate the crippling children’s disease. He urged people to cooperate by allowing polio teams to vaccine their children and asked authorities to provide protection to polio teams. Pakistan has registered more than 659,000 coronavirus cases and 14,256 deaths.
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.
Sudan announces managed currency float to revive economy
FILE - In this July 24, 2011, file photo, Sudan's new currency sits behind a window at the central bank in Khartoum, Sudan. (AP Photo/Abd Raouf, File)CAIRO – Sudan announced a managed flotation of its currency on Sunday, in an unprecedented but expected step to meet a major demand by international financial institutions to help transitional authorities overhaul the battered economy. The Central Bank said its decision would help “normalization of ties with international and regional financial institutions and friendly countries to ensure the flow of grants and loans” into Sudan's economy. Sudan was also an international pariah after it was placed on the United States’ list of state sponsors of terror early in the 1990s. This largely excluded the country from the global economy and prevented it from receiving loans from international institutions like the IMF.