Move has hurt Muslim world and will jeopardize peace process: Kabul

Donald Trump
Updated 08 December 2017
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Move has hurt Muslim world and will jeopardize peace process: Kabul

KABUL: The decision of US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was largely condemned by the Afghan government and public, and the Taliban militants who were fighting to expel US-led forces from the country.
In a statement that came long after the announcement of the US president’s decision, and after many Islamic nations had condemned it, the Afghan presidential palace said it was deeply concerned about the move.
“Realizing the grave concern of the Afghan people and the Muslims of the world, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has expressed its reservations and concern through diplomatic channels on the recognition of Jerusalem [as Israel’s new capital] and relocation of the US embassy, to the leadership of that country.”
The move has hurt the Muslim world and will “jeopardize the peace process in the Middle East,” it said, adding that the Afghan government and people wanted the restoration of the “right of Palestinian people to have an independent state.”
Shortly after Trump’s announcement, many Afghan social media users termed the step another major affront to the Islamic world.
“Trump’s announcement … for the sake of appeasing Israel is an affront to 1.5 billion Muslims and is against all the legal and humanitarian norms,” said Fazlullah Mumtaz, an Islamic cleric.
Qazi Nazir Ahmad Hanafi, a lawmaker of the Afghan parliament, said the house had condemned the move even prior to the announcement.
“This is an unforgivable crime committed by malevolent America. The US has greatly weakened the Muslim world through its direct and proxy wars, gradually implementing its evil designs one after the other,” he told Arab News.
“The Islamic nations and Muslims should rise against this decision in all corners of the world.”
One Afghan, echoing the sentiments of an unknown number of Afghans, said that the slow reaction from President Ashraf Ghani’s government, which relies on US military and financial aid, showed that Ghani was merely an “American man” for failing to condemn Trump’s announcement like the rest of the Islamic World.
Rasoul Sayyaf, a leader for the former Mujahideen factions that fought against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, said that the US had caused Muslims “an irreparable loss.”
The Taliban, who were ousted from government by the US in 2001, also attacked the announcement.
“Finally, the US has fully exposed its colonialist face and declared enmity toward Islam as well as support for the policy of occupation and colonization of Muslim lands,” the group said in a statement.
 


Syrian Kurdish-led council visits Damascus for new talks

Updated 14 August 2018
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Syrian Kurdish-led council visits Damascus for new talks

  • A delegation including members of the US-backed SDF held talks with Damascus earlier this month
  • The visits highlight efforts by the Kurdish-led authorities to open new channels to President Bashar Assad’s government

BEIRUT: The political wing of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has been to Damascus for a second round of talks with the state, the pro-government Al-Watan newspaper said on Tuesday.
A delegation including members of the US-backed SDF, which controls roughly a quarter of Syria, held talks with Damascus earlier this month, their first declared visit to the capital.
The visits highlight efforts by the Kurdish-led authorities to open new channels to President Bashar Assad’s government, as they seek to negotiate a political deal that keeps their autonomy within Syria.
The SDF is spearheaded by the Kurdish YPG militia, which has mostly avoided conflict with Assad and says its aim has been to secure Kurdish rights rather than topple the government.
This has set them apart from rebel factions fighting to topple Assad since 2011, which have now been defeated in much of the territory they once held.
The Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) went for new talks on local administation and decentralization, Al-Watan cited its co-chair Riad Darar as saying on Tuesday.
“All the discussions happening now are ... to find out the other side’s point of view,” he said. The talks “need a lot of reflection to make decisions, and so the matter was left to other meetings.”
Such negotiations could raise new questions for US policy in Syria, where the US military has deployed into SDF territory during the battle against Islamic State.
The SDF seized swathes of land with US help, though Washington opposes their aim of regional autonomy. The region they control spreads across much of northern and eastern Syria, rich in farmland, oil, and water.
Damascus says the US forces are occupiers. For the first time, Assad said in May that he was “opening doors” for talks with the SDF, but also threatened force and said the Americans would leave one way or another.