News Updates

23 February - 04 March
  • US-Taliban talks resume in Doha after two-day break: Taliban and US officials are discussing US troop withdrawal, a ceasefire as well as security guarantees in Afghanistan.
    Taliban and officials from the United States resume Afghanistan peace talks in Doha on 2nd March after a two-day break in a bid to end the 17-year war. These talks mark the highest level negotiations between the two sides since the US ramped up peace efforts last year. Cofounder of the Taliban, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, has joined the talks as the new head of the Taliban team. He met the US special representative Zalmay Khalilzad for the first time. Since then, the two men and their respective delegations have been working to hammer out details of a framework agreement reached in six days of negotiations in Doha in January. ( AlJazeera, 4 March, 2019)
  • Afghanistan launches new export route to India through Iran: Officials said 23 trucks carrying 57 tonnes of dried fruits, textiles, carpets and mineral products were dispatched from western Afghan city of Zaranj to Iran's Chabahar port. The consignment will be shipped to the Indian city of Mumbai. ( AlJazeera, March 3, 2019)
  • Deadly, destructive flooding kills at least 20 across Afghanistan.( Accuweather, 3 March, 2019)
  • UN: Civilian deaths in Afghanistan hit record high in 2018
    United Nations says the war-torn country saw 3,800 civilian lives taken last year, including 1,000 children. ( AlJazeera, 3 March, 2019)
  • Taliban Deputy Chief Arrives in Qatar for Talks With U.S.: The Taliban’s deputy leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, arrived in Qatar, officials said, for what could be the highest-level negotiations yet between the insurgents and American diplomats on ending the long Afghan war. (New York Times, 24 March, 2019)
  • Ex-Taliban official: 'No Afghan peace deal if air raids continue'. Syed Mohammad Akbar Agha accuses President Ghani's government of 'sabotaging' talks with attacks that kill civilians. (AlJazeera, 25 February, 2019)
16 February - 22 February
  • US-Taliban Meeting in Pakistan Cancelled
    An upcoming meeting in Pakistan between a delegation of the United States and Taliban representatives has been cancelled, according to information coming from both sides. A Taliban leader confirmed, on condition of anonymity, that the meeting was cancelled, “by the Americans.” A Taliban statement issued later in the day said the talks were postponed because many members of its 14 person negotiating team were unable to go overseas since they are on "the US and UN blacklist." Several of them are on the U.N. Security Council sanctions list which bars them from international travel. ( 17 Feb, 2019 Voa)
  • U.S. may trim over 1,000 troops from Afghanistan in belt-tightening – general. ( Reuters- 15 Feb, 2019)
05 February - 15 February
  • US vows to work with allies on any Afghanistan withdrawal
    US acting Defense Secretary said if troop cuts are made, Washington will consult NATO to ensure coordination. The United States will not reduce its troop presence in Afghanistan unilaterally, the top Pentagon official said, pledging that any moves will be fully coordinated with its allies." There will be no unilateral troop reductions," acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told reporters after his first meeting with NATO defence chiefs on 14 Feb. ( 15 Feb, 2019- AlJazeera)
  • Afghan Taliban announce talks with US in Islamabad: spokesman (Dawn, 14 Feb, 2019)
  • US Exit From Afghanistan Won’t Create Power Vacuum: Russia ( Tolo News, 13 Feb, 2019)
  • Russia says ready to help Taliban talks on US withdrawal
    Offer made after Taliban leaders met with Afghan representatives in Moscow during 'very successful' negotiations. ( AlJazeera, 7 Feb, 2019)