News / USA

Kerry Heads to Doha to Discuss Afghan Peace Stalemate

FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at the State Department, June 12, 2013.
FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at the State Department, June 12, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday will visit Doha, Qatar, the site of proposed U.S.-backed Afghan peace talks that triggered strong opposition this week from Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Senior State Department officials say the Kerry agenda -- originally set to focus on Syria -- has been expanded to include discussions with U.S. allies on how to salvage the Afghan peace initiative.

The Doha talks were to have opened Thursday, with discussions involving Taliban delegates and senior U.S. officials. But Karzai, apparently irked by the opening of a Taliban political office in that city, objected and said his government would not support the talks.

The Afghan leader's objections focused in part on the way the Taliban unveiled its Doha office earlier this week. The militant group posted a sign identifying the facility as the "Office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," and raised an Islamic Emirate flag.

Those moves were widely condemned by the Afghan government, which views them as an attempt by the militant group to establish itself as a legitimate government.

Afghanistan's representative to the United Nations, Zahir Tanin, said Thursday his country "does not recognize such a thing as the Emirate of the Taliban."

In a statement, he also called the Taliban's initial decision to raise its flag at the Doha office a "reminder of a dark and bloody past from which our country is still struggling to emerge."

Officials say the Taliban sign at the Qatar office was replaced with one identifying the office as the previously agreed upon "Political Office of the Afghan Taliban." The flag was still flying at the site on Thursday, but on a shorter flag pole.

By early Friday, there were no public indications that the position of the Afghan government had changed.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid