News / Asia

Afghanistan Cancels Security Talks With United States

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a joint news conference with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen following a security handover ceremony at a military academy outside Kabul, Afghanistan, June 18, 2013.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a joint news conference with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen following a security handover ceremony at a military academy outside Kabul, Afghanistan, June 18, 2013.
Sharon Behn
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has canceled bilateral security talks with the United States, apparently to protest the opening of formal talks with the Taliban insurgent group. An Afghan statement said the manner in which the Taliban had opened their offices ran directly counter to assurances Washington had given Kabul.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai suddenly announced Wednesday that his government is pulling out of the bilateral talks with the United States. The aim of those talks is to lay out how many U.S. troops will remain in the country after 2014, and what role they will play in Afghanistan.

In a statement, Afghanistan's National Security Council said the talks were suspended due to the “contradiction between acts and statements” made by the United States regarding the peace process.  

Analyst Kate Clark of the Afghanistan Analysts Network says Karzai's actions likely reflect the Afghan leader’s deep displeasure with the international recognition the Taliban is receiving.

Related video report by Kokab Farshori
Recent Developments in Afghanistan Will Have Long-Term Impacti
X
June 20, 2013 12:38 AM
The United States is set to begin talks with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar. But that U.S. decision does not sit well with Washington's longtime ally, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who announced plans to suspend negotiations with the United States on a bilateral security deal. Kokab Farshori looks at the long-term consequences of these recent developments.
“I think that Karzai was against the opening of the office from the start, and he has tried to prevent it. When he failed to prevent it from going ahead, I think he, behind the scenes, made some conditions that were not met. The opening of the office the Taliban presented themselves as a government, they had their flag up, they managed to present themselves as respectable, and I am not surprised there has been a backlash,” said Clark.

Related - US, Afghanistan to Hold Talks with Taliban

The Taliban, which has fought the Afghan government and international troops for more than a decade, this week opened an office in Doha, the capital of Qatar. The United States said it would begin direct talks there on Thursday with the militant group.

But Kabul feels the U.S. decision to talk with the militants in a formal and public fashion outside Afghanistan undermines the role of the Afghan government.

Speaking in Berlin, U.S. President Barack Obama said some friction was expected in getting the talks off the ground.  

Karzai had said Tuesday his government would send envoys from the Afghan High Peace Council to Qatar to try to open peace talks in Kabul with the Taliban.

High Peace Council member Mohammad Ismail Qasimyaar said the Taliban had gone too far, however, by placing their Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan banner in the Doha office.  

“The high peace council is going to consider the peace talks which was planned to be held in Doha, but you know, yesterday that there was a sign board of Islamic Emirates you know, according to the international rules and laws and practices and also our national legal system, under the constitution of Afghanistan, it would be difficult for the people of Afghanistan to accept such a thing.”

Related - Taliban Claim Killing of 4 US Troops

Qasimyaar said that as Afghans, the Taliban should hold talks directly with Kabul on Afghan soil.

The Taliban ruled Afghanistan for five years under the Islamic Emirate flag.

The Taliban has refused to negotiate directly with Karzai, whom they dismiss as a lackey of the United States.  

This latest dispute between Kabul and Washington comes one day after the NATO-led command handed over responsibility for security in the country to Afghan security forces.

U.S. General Joseph Dunford, speaking shortly after that ceremony, insisted the only path to peace in Afghanistan was through negotiation.

“My perspective has always been that this war is going to end with a political reconciliation, so I frankly would be supportive of any  positive movement in terms of reconciliation, particularly an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process that would bring reconciliation between the Afghan people and the Taliban in the context of the Afghan constitution,” said Dunford.

Just hours after the U.S. announced the talks with the Taliban, a rocket attack on the Bagram air base killed four U.S. soldiers. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dr. Malek Towghi/Tauqee from: USA
June 19, 2013 9:44 AM
Both, Pakistani ISI and Pakistan's covert puppet Karzai, do not want any direct communication between the US and the Taliban. The attack that killed four US troops in Afghanistan just after the US announced it was opening formal talks with the Taliban must have been carried out by the Haqqani faction of the Taliban engineered by the ISI. The Haqqani faction is created and controlled by Islamabad.

In talks with the Taliban we should insist only on two points: that Afghanistan will not be used by any third party against the US interests and that it (Afghanistan) will not again become a puppet of Islamabad.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
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 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 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.

VOA Blogs