US committed to protect Afghan people’s interests in Doha talks: Zalmay Khalilzad
The United States is committed to ensure that personal interests do not take precedence over the national interests during the crucial negotiations between the Afghan government and Taliban in Doha, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said.
In an interview with TOLOnews in Doha, Khalilzad said a solution should be found to end the Afghan crisis, which will lead to long-lasting peace.
Asked if the intra-Afghan talks would see a breakdown, the US envoy remarked that such a development will not be acceptable for Washington.
“It is not acceptable and there is a solution to every problem, and a solution must be found. We are ready to help if the country’s interests come first and personal interests do not come first. I am confident that a solution will be found and we will not allow personal interests to take precedence. This is the promise of the US to the people of Afghanistan,” Khalilzad said.
He said there are some people in Afghanistan who prefer the current situation to peace with the Taliban while some are attempting to keep Washington engaged in war so that it could pay the price, according to TOLOnews.
“Some prefer the current situation rather than peace with the Taliban. For instance, within Afghanistan there are some who are trying to keep the US engaged in the war,” Khalilzad said.
Earlier on Friday, Khalilzad said he is hopeful that talks between the Afghan government and Taliban will pave the way for a peace process and withdrawal of foreign troops after decades of war and insurgency.
The intra-Afghan talks between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban which opened in Qatar’s Doha on Saturday is aimed at establishing peace and stability in Afghanistan.
The Afghan government’s 21-member negotiating team was led by Masoom Stanekzai, a former intelligence chief. On the other hand, the Taliban was led by Mawlavi Abdul Hakim, the terror group’s chief justice and a close aide of the group’s chief Haibatullah Akhunzada, Al Jazeera reported.
Calling the beginning of intra-Afghan peace talks a “truly momentous occasion,” US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo urged the Taliban and the Afghan government to “seize the opportunity”, adding that Washington is ready to support the negotiations.
Peace talks were expected to take place in March but were delayed repeatedly due to a prisoner exchange agreement made as part of the deal signed between the US and Taliban in February.
The 75th Cannes Film Festival kicked off Tuesday with an eye turned to Russia's war in Ukraine and a live satellite video address from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who called on a new generation of filmmakers to confront dictators as Charlie Chaplin satirized Adolf Hitler. After tributes and musical numbers, Zelenskyy was streamed live for the formally attired audience who had gathered for the premiere of Michel Hazanavicius' zombie comedy “Final Cut."
A Chinese airliner that crashed on March 21 killing all 132 people on board may have been flown deliberately into a nosedive in its final moments, a news report said on Tuesday, citing preliminary findings by American officials who analysed data from the flight's black box. It was travelling from Kunming in Yunnan province to Guangzhou on China's southeastern coast when it crashed outside the city of Wuzhou in the Guangxi region.
Sweden and Finland have remained non-aligned throughout the entire Cold War period, and have in the past opposed the prospect of becoming NATO members. However, both Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson have cited security as the reason behind their NATO aspirations. This comes in the backdrop of the Ukraine war that began after Russia invaded the east-European country on Putin's order on February 24. Currently in its third month, the war is the biggest of its kind in an European nation since the Second World War and has created a renewed refugee influx in the continent.
The black box for a China Eastern Airlines Corp. jet that crashed earlier this year suggests the Boeing Co. plane took an intentional nosedive, the Wall Street Journal said. The Boeing 737-800 jetliner was en route from Kunming to Guangzhou on March 21 when it plummeted from the sky, killing all 132 passengers and crew. Boeing shares added to their gains for the day, climbing as much as 6.2% in New York.
There are 28 million children who fall into the 5-11 age range in the United States, and there have been 4.8 million Covid cases and about 360 deaths among them so far, according to CDC figures. This age group has been eligible to receive the initial two doses of Pfizer's vaccine since November 2021, but less than 30 per cent of them have so far.