Afghan delegations in Moscow for discussing peace talks

Taliban representatives headed by their deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and a delegation of Afghan politicians, including former president Hamid Karzai, participated in a conference on Afghan peace in Moscow, media reported. The second-day meeting was behind closed doors. A ceasefire was the top demand of Afghan politicians present in the ‘Intra-Afghan’ talks in Moscow too. But the Taliban has so far rejected any form of ceasefire ‘until unless an agreement on foreign troops withdrawal is reached’. Last the Taliban reciprocated an Afghan government ceasefire during three days of Eid. Despite the Taliban’s vocal rejection, there are hopes for some sort of violence reduction during the three days of Eid next week. Sources said the second day of the meeting was also focused on peace and pressuring the Taliban to agree on a ceasefire with the Taliban – at least in the upcoming Eid al-Fitr. Backing their deputy leader’s stance, a Taliban spokesman told reporters on Wednesday that ceasefire is not possible in presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan – who are helping the Afghan forces in their fight against the Taliban and other insurgent groups since 2001, Tolo News reported.

 

Kabul Clergy Call for Ceasefire

Hundreds of religious scholars and Imam’s of mosques have gathered in Kabul Eidgah Masjid calling on both sides of the conflict to a ceasefire while ‘Intra-Afghan talks’ are underway in Moscow. These Kabul based pro-government clergies say they are worried about the rising death toll of all sides due to the ongoing conflict. These Ulema say they condemn violence and support Afghan security forces. Last Friday prominent religious scholar Muwlawi Raihan was killed by a bomb explosion inside a mosque where he was preaching and it was followed by two other attacks targeting religious scholars in Kabul.

 

 IEC Postponed Two Local Elections

RFE/RL – Afghanistan’s election authorities say they have postponed two local elections that were scheduled to be held in September.  The September presidential election was due to be held simultaneously with provincial and district council elections, as well as a previously postponed parliamentary vote in Ghazni Province. But the head of the Afghanistan Independent Election Commission (IEC), Hawa Alam Nuristani, said on May 29 that time and budget constraints and security issues were among the reasons for the decision to delay the provincial, district, and Ghazni elections. However, the presidential election remains scheduled for September 28. “Holding three elections together was very difficult for us,” Nuristani told reporters in Kabul. Nursitani did not announce a new date for the postponed polls.

 

NSA Visit to Islamabad

Afghan National Security Advisor Hamdullha Moib is in Islamabad talking with Pakistani officials on Afghan war and peace. A committee of both sides are working on the Afghan president potential trip to Pakistan in the coming weeks, the presidential palace said. Ashraf Ghani has officially been invited by Pakistani PM Imran Khan last month.

 

Afghanistan Seeks ICS Membership

ToloNews: Officials from Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) on Monday said that Afghanistan is facing serious difficulties in the establishment of shipping companies in Chabahar Port as the country does not have the membership of International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).  ACCI officials stated that the issues around transactions and high guarantees have not been resolved. Afghanistan exported its first shipment through Chabahar Port three months ago.  Currently, goods from Afghanistan are being transferred on vehicles and trucks to Chabahar Port and then the Indian ships transfer them to the Indian markets.

 

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