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

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora