Saturday, June 05, 2010

AFGHANISTAN - Kabul Talks with the Taliban

Important UPDATES further down !

Today, the Afghan "Peace Jirga", a meeting of 1500 tribal leaders, decided to endorse President Karzai's plan for direct talks with the Taliban. After a secret meeting between representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban and which took place in the Republic of the Maldives recently, there is now new hope for the Karzai administration to survive by inciting a kind of peace process, based on the idea of neutralizing moderate groups of the Taliban. Nevertheless, the conflict is far from reaching its end as militant groups of the Taliban are not willing to get into talks with Kabul before all foreign troops leave the country.

BACKGROUND - Secret meeting on the Maldives
This secret meeting had already been planned in London in the first half of February 2010, whereupon, according to People's Daily Online (PR China), the French Press Agency AFP published some basic information on February 17. The meeting between President Karzai's special envoyee and seven persons that are closely related to the Taliban was to be held in a luxury hotel on the Maldives without any representatives of the Maldivian government (or even without their knowledge).
Comment: An Invitation to Paradise
As it seems to be a Big Spender's invitation to paradise to smoothen rough things, you should always keep in mind: You might be able to prepare the stage, but you can't predict the outcome of the drama ! Ulysses

For additional information and a description of recent events, please, refer to my latest Afghanistan blog post. Further material has been presented in another blog post of mine dealing with the retreat of U.S. troops from a difficult region.

UPDATE June 5, 2010:

A poor statement on "Peace Jirga" results from the
U.S. DEPARTMENT of STATE, as represented by:

Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary

Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
June 4 (local date!)

QUESTION: Do you have any comment about President Karzai’s loya jirga – peace jirga?

MR. CROWLEY: I think the Embassy put out a statement on that. I think we will continue to support the Afghan-led efforts on reconciliation and reintegration. We thought the peace jirga accomplished its objectives and has provided some – a national consensus to pursue a political strategy to reduce the danger posed by the insurgency. And we will be – continue to support Afghanistan as it goes forward.

UPDATE June 7, 2010:

U.S. forces announce that at least 10 servicemen were killed in one of Afghanistan's most bloodiest days up to now. [Al-Jazeera].
Two days later, a German source spoke of 12 servicemen killed and referred to the last incident of that kind in 2008. [W.W.]

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