Civilian casualties in Afghanistan escalated sharply after peace talks began last year, the United Nations said in a report released on Tuesday (23 February), calling for a ceasefire as negotiators met for the first time after weeks of inaction.
Half of Afghans need humanitarian aid but rising violence is preventing deliveries, a senior European Union humanitarian official said on Wednesday (3 February), reiterating calls for a ceasefire between the Afghan government and the insurgent Taliban.
Afghan government and Taliban representatives said on Wednesday (2 December) they had reached a preliminary deal to press on with peace talks, their first written agreement in 19 years of war and welcomed by the United Nations and Washington.
The United States voiced optimism Tuesday (25 February) about reaching an accord to end the war in Afghanistan as a partial truce held with the Taliban, warning rival leaders in the Kabul government not to scuttle the "enormous opportunity."
US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday (19 February) discussed a US deal with Taliban militants on a weeklong reduction in violence, meeting the day after Ghani was declared a winner of a disputed presidential poll.
US President Donald Trump abruptly fired his national security adviser John Bolton amid disagreements with his hard-line aide over how to handle foreign policy challenges such as North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan and Russia.
The United States would withdraw almost 5,000 troops from Afghanistan and close five bases within 135 days under a draft peace accord agreed with the Taliban, the chief US negotiator, Zalmay Khalilzad, said on Monday (2 September).
Russia will host the Taliban and Afghan politicians opposed to President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday (5 February), Russian and Taliban sources said, promoting its role of power broker in what a US official called an attempt to “muddle” the US-backed peace process.
Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday (28 November) announced in Geneva a 12-person team for prospective peace talks with the Taliban, as his government pledged unwavering commitment to resolve the conflict despite persistent bloodshed.
EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini arrived in the Uzbek capital Tashkent yesterday (26 March) and met with the foreign ministers of the five Central Asian countries, ahead of a conference on Afghanistan under the heading "Peace process, security cooperation and regional connectivity" which takes place today.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted on Friday (21 January) the potential of the five countries of Central Asia for addressing the threats of violent extremism and transnational organised crime in Afghanistan. For its part, Kazakhstan has suggested building an economic and security partnership with Afghanistan.
The NATO alliance agreed yesterday (15 June) to hold onto its broad geographic layout of bases in Afghanistan, a move that could make it easier for the United States to keep more troops there as Kabul struggles with a resurgent Taliban threat.
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