PHOTO: Karim Jaafar. Members of the Afghan delegations gather during the second day of the Intra Afghan Dialogue talks in Doha, Qatar
The recent talk between the Afghans and the Taliban concluded on Monday, July 8th in Doha, Qatar, laying the foundations for renewed negotiations between the United States and the militants.
The encounter ended with a joint statement pledging a “roadmap for peace” based on the opening of a monitored peace process, return of internally displaced people, and non-interference by regional powers in Afghanistan.
“Assuring women rights in political, social, economic, educational, cultural affairs as per [and] within the Islamic framework of Islamic values,” also featured in the joint text.
“It is not an agreement, it is a foundation to start the discussion,” delegate Mary Akrami, executive director of the Afghan Women’s Network said. “The good part was that both sides agreed.”
Around 70 delegates attended the gathering at a hotel in Doha, Qatar and the large meeting room erupted into applause after the joint statement had been read out.
“The differences are almost so narrow. We are quite frankly surprised how serious both sides are and they are so committed to putting an end to this conflict," said Qatar's counter-terrorism special envoy Mutlaq al-Qahtani.
The so-called intra-Afghan meetings follow six days of direct US-Taliban talks that were put on hold for the two-day Afghan conference.
The talks will continue with the resumption of direct US-Taliban contact in Doha as both sides eye a resolution to the bloody 18-year conflict.
US lead negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad has said that the latest round of US-Taliban talks have been the most productive of the rounds they have had with the Talibs.
“We want a stable Afghanistan,” he told reports on the sidelines of the dialogue on Monday.
From the meeting, the Afghans stated that it was a big success and the the Taliban said they were happy with the progress.
An agreement with the Taliban is expected to have two main pillars – a withdrawal by the US from Afghanistan and a commitment by the militants not to offer sanctuary to militants.
PHOTO: Mustafa Ozturk. Milorad Dodik, the current chairman and Serb member of the tripartite Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina
On Tuesday, July 9th, the chairman of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s presidency proposed the establishment of joint commissions between Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia to resolve all outstanding issues.
Milorad Dodik’s remarks came at the opening of the Southeast European Cooperation Process Summit in Sarajevo, Bosnia’s capital.
“Many will agree that the situation in Southeast Europe is not what we want and how we have tried to establish in the last 20 years. Had we not establish this process just 23 years ago with the goal of being a forum where we would solve problems, or at least create conditions in which these problems could be solved?” said Dodik.
For his part, Croat Member of the Bosnian Presidency Zeljiko Komsic stressed at the summit that cooperation was critical for the region’s integration to NATO and the EU.
“By developing regional cooperation and good neighborly relations, we send a clear message that this region, Southeast Europe, can be part of integration processes, especially those between Bosnia, NATO and the EU,” Kosmic said.
Bosniak Presidency member Sefik Dzaferovic pointed out that the region faces a number of challenges, the most imminent being the migrant crisis.
“The migrant crisis has escalated over the past two years, and the weaknesses in institutional capacities and regional cooperation have been shown. The EU needs to be clearly involved in resolving this problem, because the focus cannot be on the immediate border of the EU and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and also because Bosnia has not caused a migrant crisis,” said Dzaferovic.
Dzaferovic also urged the EU to help Bosnia to solve issues related to the migrant crisis.
“The EU should help Bosnian institutions – strategically and organically – in order to solve the challenges of the migrant crisis because organized crime and human trafficking are also involved in the migrant crisis,” said Dzaferovic.
Officials met at the South-East European Cooperation Process Summit that took place in Sarajevo, Bosnia. The summit was attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Montenegrin President Milo Dukanovic, President of North Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski, President of Albania Ilir Meta, Prime Minister of Serbia Ana Brnabic, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and representatives from Croatia, Romania, Greece, Moldova, and Slovenia
PHOTO: Kevin Lamarque. US President Donald Trump meets with Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani at the White House in Washington, DC
Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani met with US President Donald Trump on Tuesday, July 9th at the White House in Washington, DC, to discuss regional security in the Gulf and mutual economic ties, among other issues.
The Emir’s visit comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and the US and ongoing blockade imposed on Qatar by its Arab neighbors.
Trump clasped hands with the Emir and called him a friend while recognizing the country’s extensive military partnership with the US and billions of dollars in purchases from American companies.
“They are investing very heavily in our country. They’re creating lots of jobs. They are buying tremendous amounts of military equipment, including planes,” said Trump.
After their meeting, total of five commercial agreements were signed. Qatar Airways is buying five Boeing 777 Freighters and large-cabin aircraft from Gulfstream Aerospace and plans to use General Electric Co. jet engines to power its Boeing aircraft.
In a speech during the dinner, Qatar’s Emir said that his visit to the US reaffirmed the ideals the two countries shared and celebrated their mutual economic partnership.
“Our nations share a commitment to human capital, working to create resilient, knowledge-based economies with an emphasis on education, openness and opportunity for all,” he said.
“Unfortunately, there are some in my region who do not share our beliefs. In today’s world, at times, alliances have to be made with necessary partners, and certain allies are not actually friends,” he also said, in an apparent reference to his country’s Arab neighbors that are part of the blockade.
He then continued by saying, “But with the United States and Qatar, we are partners, allies and friends. We continue our mutual commitment to remain closely invested in both military and security alliance.”
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have enforced a sea, air and land blockade against Qatar since June of 2017.
Qatar, which has one of the world’s highest per capita incomes due to its natural gas reserves, has worked to open up other avenues of income to offset the impact of the boycott.
“We have a lot of investments in the US,” the Emir said. “We trust the economy here. We do a lot on infrastructure and we are planning to do more investment.”
By MSEAP Cyber Secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org