World News

    Afghan Delegation to Meet Taliban Leader in Pakistan

    Afghan officials seeking peace with the Taliban say they will soon travel to Pakistan to speak to Taliban second-in-command Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

    An announcement from Afghan President Hamid Karzai's office following a London summit Wednesday said that an agreement was reached in London for a delegation from Afghanistan's High Peace Council to meet in the near future with Baradar.

    The High Peace Council is the Afghan body tasked with opening negotiations with Taliban insurgents.

    Speaking to reporters in Islamabad, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's special assistant on foreign affairs, Tariq Fatemi, said Pakistan has no objection to the meeting.

    "We will play a supporting role because we recognize that peace and stability in Afghanistan is essential for peace and stability in Pakistan and we want to live as good neighbors," Fatemi said.



    In Kabul, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan expressed hope that a security agreement with the Afghan government is within reach.

    "I think we are close to concluding a bilateral security agreement which we regard as an important thing for the future of Afghanistan and the future of our relationship," Ambassador James Cunningham said.

    But he also cautioned that not much can be accomplished unless agreement is reached on the issue of U.S. legal authority over the remaining American troops in Afghanistan.



    "This is a sensitive issue as you know. President Karzai reserved that issue to consultation with the Jirga and we respect that. The document does provide for U.S. legal authority over U.S. military personnel. And it is just a fact that if the agreement isn't concluded, much of what we hope to do together with Afghanistan in the future, won't be possible."



    For almost a year, Washington and Kabul have been seeking to conclude a Bilateral Security Agreement that will help determine how many U.S. soldiers and bases remain in Afghanistan after most foreign combat troops exit by the end of next year.

    Washington demands that its troops be immune from Afghan law and tried in the United States instead.

    Baradar was arrested in Pakistan in 2010 and remains there under Pakistani supervision even after his release from prison last month.

    The decision for Afghan officials to meet Baradar was made in London Tuesday at a meeting attended by President Karzai, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

    Reports after the meeting said Mr. Sharif will travel to Afghanistan next week for high-level meetings.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora