News / USA

US, Afghanistan to Hold Talks with Taliban

  • Afghan President Hamid Karzai shakes hands with NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen after a ceremony at a military academy on the outskirts of Kabul, Tuesday, June 18, 2013.
  • Afghan security officials attend a handover ceremony at a military academy on the outskirts of Kabul, June 18, 2013.
  • Afghan security forces stand guard at the site of a blast in Kabul, June, 18, 2013.
  • Afghan security forces personnel investigate the site of an explosion in Kabul, June 18, 2013.
  • An Afghan police officer stands guard near a body at the site of an explosion in Kabul, June 18, 2013.
Meredith Buel
The United States and the government of Afghanistan have announced their intention to hold talks with the Taliban after nearly 12 years of war.  But analysts are cautioning against any expectation such talks will succeed quickly.  

The Taliban have opened a new office in Doha, Qatar - saying the group wants a political solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.

A senior U.S. official says the first meeting with the Taliban is expected to take place later this week.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai says his representatives will travel to Qatar for meetings with the Taliban soon.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki.

“An Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process is the surest way to end violence and ensure lasting stability in Afghanistan and the region," said Psaki.

Talks in Qatar would be the first formal peace negotiations designed to end the war in Afghanistan.

Andrew Wilder, who directs the Afghan program at the U.S. Institute of Peace, does not expect a quick breakthrough.

“Lessons from elsewhere suggest there is not a quick solution and I think we should also be managing expectations.  I don’t anticipate in the next few months we are going to have a complete settlement to the conflict that has gone on for three decades in Afghanistan," said Wilder.

Wilder says the fierce violence is likely to continue in Afghanistan, where he does not expect a cease-fire.

Foreign policy expert John Feffer of the Institute for Policy Studies says some members of the Taliban will take a wait-and-see attitude.

“They are interested in seeing who will emerge to replace Karzai.  Then they are interested in seeing how much control they can get on the ground, especially with the increased violence that has taken place recently," said Feffer.

The announcement about peace talks came on the same day Afghan forces took over responsibility for security for the entire country from the international military coalition.

Analyst Andrew Wilder thinks that Pakistan was influential in encouraging the Taliban to engage more seriously in the peace process.

“As the violence in Pakistan has increased and the terrorist activity there has been increasing, I think there is more of a recognition of the need for peace and stability in Afghanistan," he said.

U.S. officials say the core goal in Afghanistan, that it can never again be a safe haven for international terrorism, has not changed.

Again, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki:

“These statements represent an important first step toward reconciliation, the outcome of which must be that the Taliban and other insurgent groups break ties with al-Qaida and violence and accept Afghanistan’s constitution, including its protections for women and minorities," she said.

Related story by Jeff Custer:

You May Like

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs