Opinion| UNIDO Egypt fosters manufacturing sector recovery in a changing economy    Opinion| Consequences of US withdrawal from Middle East    Cairo joins in 'Orange the World' campaign raising awareness on gender-based violence    EU, Egypt partner in supporting gender-targeted programmes: Ambassador Berger    Luiza Formenius launches new single 'I'll Be Home For Christmas'    Korean Ambassador urges need to enhance space cooperation with Egypt    Export-Import Bank of Korea delegation visits Cairo to chart Roadmap for future cooperation    Egypt renews call for nuclear weapon-free zone in Middle East    Wegz is most streamed artist in Egypt during 2021 for second consecutive year: Spotify    Orange Egypt Continues its Sponsorship for iRead Awards Ceremony    Egypt participates in 8th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation    Egypt, Qatar discuss cooperation in sports infrastructure    Poor sleep habits are associated with deficient control of blood sugar after meals    Prominent Egyptian anchor calls on UK to designate "Muslim Brotherhood" a Terrorist entity    Egypt, Israel sign deal sign MoU to increase gas supplies, hydrogen transport    Egypt's stocks end week in green as benchmark EWX 30 surges 0.69%    Mortada Mansour sets road map for Zamalek, after normalization committee depart    I seek to secure stable financial sources to build strong judo team: Motei Fakhr El-Din    Orascom Construction joins consortium to develop Egypt's first green hydrogen production facility    98 potential candidates run for Libyan presidency    'Lake Victoria – Mediterranean' navigation corridor awaits feasibility studies, funds: official    Egypt's trade with Nile basin countries climbs 26% y-o-y in 9 months    Egypt selected to host COP27 international climate conference in 2022    Number of British tourists to Egypt seen hitting 500,000 this winter – envoy    The unvaccinated prohibited from entry to Egypt state institutions starting December 1    Egypt, Greece ink deal for first subsea power link between Europe and Africa    SCOHRE sparks discussion on harm reduction, tobacco control    Egypt to receive first of six high-trains from Spain's Talgo in mid-November    Egypt's iron and steel exports jump 197% in 8 months    Ethiopia halts work at its embassy in Egypt for 'economic reasons'    It's a bit frustrating to draw at home: Real Madrid keeper after Villarreal game    Russia says it's in sync with US, China, Pakistan on Taliban    Shoukry reviews with Guterres Egypt's efforts to achieve SDGs, promote human rights    Sudan says countries must cooperate on vaccines    Johnson & Johnson: Second shot boosts antibodies and protection against COVID-19    Egypt to tax bloggers, YouTubers    Egypt's FM asserts importance of stability in Libya, holding elections as scheduled    Brazil calls up 8 EPL players for World Cup qualifying    We mustn't lose touch: Muller after Bayern win in Bundesliga    Egypt records 36 new deaths from Covid-19, highest since mid June    Egypt sells $3 bln US-dollar dominated eurobonds    Sisi calls on House, Senate to commence second legislative sessions on 3, 5 October    Gamal Hanafy's ceramic exhibition at Gezira Arts Centre is a must go    Italian Institute Director Davide Scalmani presents activities of the Cairo Institute for ITALIANA.IT platform    Qa'a play showing at Lycee El Horreya Theatre, Alexandria is a must go    APO Group enters new exclusive agreement with Getty Images on African press releases and images    On International Museum Day, Egypt opens two new museums at Cairo Airport    Old Cairo's Al-Fustat will be revamped on Egyptian President's directives    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



Iran hosts high-level Afghan peace talks as fighting surges
Published in Ahram Online on 07 - 07 - 2021

Iran on Wednesday hosted the first significant talks in months between Taliban and Afghan government representatives, a surprise meeting that comes as the US completes its withdrawal from Afghanistan and districts fall to the Taliban across the country.
The high-level peace talks between the warring sides follow months-old discussions in Qatar that have been stalled by a diplomatic stalemate and escalating violence.
Even as officials faced each other across vast tables in Tehran and Iran's top diplomat pledged to end the crisis, fighting surged in Afghanistan's western Badghis province.
The Taliban political committee, led by chief negotiator Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, flew from Doha to Iran's capital to meet Afghan government officials, including former Vice President Younus Qanooni and others from the High Council for National Reconciliation.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif greeted the delegates, urging them to ``take difficult decisions today for the future of their country,`` state-run media reported.
After the ``failure of the U.S. in Afghanistan,'' Zarif said, Iran stands ``ready to assist the dialogue'' and to ``resolve the current conflicts in the country.``
``Returning to the inter-Afghan negotiation table and committing to political solutions is the best choice,'' he added.
But any solution appeared a long way off Wednesday as the Taliban offensive, which has recently captured many districts in the country's north, pushed into the western Badghis province.
The insurgents attacked the provincial capital of Qala-e-Naw from several sides, its governor Hasamuddin Shams said, adding that Afghan troops had so far managed to push the Taliban fighters back.
From the early hours of Wednesday morning, battles have raged near the provincial police headquarters and a Qala-e-Naw army base, said Abdul Aziz beg, head of the provincial council in Badghis.
Videos widely circulated on social media appeared to show Taliban fighters speeding into the provincial capital on motorcycles. Other clips show insurgents approaching the city's prison and releasing inmates. The Associated Press could not independently verify the authenticity of the footage.
Fawad Aman, the Afghan defense minister's deputy spokesman, promised security forces would clear the city in the coming hours. The Taliban have not publicly commented on the violence in Qala-e-Naw.
The surge of fighting, and the sudden news of peace talks in Tehran, come at a critical time for the war-battered country.
After a two-decade-long military campaign, the US military announced on Tuesday that 90% of American troops and equipment had already left the country, with the drawdown set to finish by late August.
Last week, US officials definitively vacated the country's biggest airfield, Bagram Air Base, the epicenter of the war to oust the Taliban and hunt down the al-Qaida perpetrators of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America.
The Taliban have made relentless territorial wins since April, when President Joe Biden announced the last 2,500-3,500 US soldiers and 7,000 allied NATO soldiers would depart Afghanistan.
With their victories in northern and southern Afghanistan, the Taliban are escalating pressure on provincial cities and gaining control of key transportation routes.
Afghanistan's uncertain path toward peace bears profound consequences for Iran, its western neighbor, which hosts hundreds of thousands of undocumented Afghans.
Fears have grown in Iran over a wave of Afghans seeking refuge in the country, which already is struggling to stem worsening poverty under tough US sanctions.


Clic here to read the story from its source.