News

    US, Afghanistan, Pakistan Press for Taliban Talks

    U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman (R), Pakistan's FM Jalil Abbas Jilani (C) and Afghan Deputy FM Jawid Ludin (L) pose for the media before their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad, April 27, 2012.
    U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman (R), Pakistan's FM Jalil Abbas Jilani (C) and Afghan Deputy FM Jawid Ludin (L) pose for the media before their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad, April 27, 2012.

    Afghan, Pakistani and U.S. officials are pushing for the restart of stalled talks with the Taliban in an effort to find a political settlement to the more than 10-year Afghan war.

    U.S. Special Representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan Marc Grossman met with Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin and Pakistani Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani during a trilateral meeting in Islamabad Friday.

    The three officials told reporters they will explore ways to arrange safe passage for Taliban leaders who are willing to take part in peace negotiations. Afghan Taliban leaders are widely believed to be based in Pakistan.

    Grossman said "the shared goal is to open the door for Afghans to sit down with other Afghans to talk about the future of their country."  But the senior U.S. envoy also emphasized that Taliban insurgents must be willing to break ties with al-Qaida, lay down their arms and abide by Afghanistan's constitution.

    Last month, the Afghan Taliban announced it was suspending peace talks with the United States until "the Americans clarify their stance on the issues," including a prisoner swap.  The U.S. was reportedly holding preliminary talks in Qatar with the insurgent group, which has rejected taking part in any negotiations involving the Afghan government.

    On Thursday, U.S. Special Representative Grossman held bilateral talks with Pakistan's foreign minister and other officials, during which he called for communication lines between both countries to be reopened.

    U.S.-Pakistan relations plunged to a new low after a cross-border coalition attack mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani troops last November.  Pakistan subsequently shut down the ground supply route to international troops in neighboring Afghanistan and ordered a parliamentary review of rules of engagement with the United States.

    Grossman told reporters Thursday the U.S. is ready for talks on re-opening the supply lines and that "the task now is to begin a conversation about how to move forward."

    Foreign Secretary Jilani said Thursday the arrangement with regard to the NATO supplies would no longer be valid and that the countries must work out a new agreement.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora