Taliban say differences resolved on US troop withdrawal

US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is tasked with finding a peaceful resolution to the nearly 18-year war. (File/AFP)
Updated 06 August 2019

Taliban say differences resolved on US troop withdrawal

  • The development came during talks over the past two days in Qatar
  • The Taliban refuse to talk directly with Afghan government representatives

KABUL, Afghanistan: A Taliban official says the United States and the Taliban have resolved differences in peace talks over troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, as well as Taliban guarantees to cut ties with extremist groups.
The development came during talks over the past two days in the Gulf Arab state of Qatar, where the Taliban maintain a political office.
The Taliban official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss details of negotiations.
Technical teams from the two sides will continue discussions on Tuesday in Doha.
US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is tasked with finding a peaceful resolution to the nearly 18-year war. Intra-Afghan talks and a permanent cease-fire are other priorities.
But these talks have sidelined the government in Kabul. The Taliban refuse to talk directly with government representatives.


Singapore confirms first case of Wuhan virus

Updated 23 January 2020

Singapore confirms first case of Wuhan virus

Singapore Thursday confirmed its first case of the new SARS-like virus which has killed 17 people in China and spread to multiple countries including the United States.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) said the patient was a 66-year-old man from Wuhan who arrived in Singapore with his family on Monday.
He was immediately isolated after arriving at a hospital with a fever and cough, and test results later confirmed he was infected with the coronavirus.
One of his traveling companions, a 37-year-old man from Wuhan, has also been admitted to hospital as a suspect case.
Prior to admission, they had stayed at a hotel on the resort island of Sentosa, the ministry said.
It added that Singapore was expecting more cases and alarms “given the high volume of international travel.”
Moreover, tourists leaving Bangkok for China said on Thursday they were worried about the spread of the Wuhan virus, ahead of more air and train travel in the lead-up to the Lunar New Year holidays.
China has placed Wuhan, a city of 11 million, on lockdown, as it is considered the epicenter of a new coronavirus outbreak that has killed 17 and infected nearly 600.
Thailand has so far confirmed four cases of coronavirus, the largest number outside China. Two of the cases were Chinese women who have since been allowed to return home. Chinese tourists make up the largest group of visitors to Thailand.
At Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport, masked visitors lined up as usual to check in for Southern China Airlines flights back to China.
AirAsia said on Thursday it has canceled direct flights between Wuhan and cities in Thailand and Malaysia until Jan 28.
Matt Thomas, who lives in the Chinese city of Xian, said he was worried about the new Chinese virus, especially because he once contracted swine flu which he described as “awful.”
“I’m a bit worried that it will repeat. I have just got to be safe. In these sorts of situations, you know, take everything seriously, don’t take any risks,” Thomas said.
Chinese health officials fear the transmission rate will accelerate, as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel at home and abroad during week-long holidays for the Lunar New Year.