Afghan delegation to meet with Taleban in Qatar

Updated 01 May 2015

Afghan delegation to meet with Taleban in Qatar

KABUL: An Afghan delegation is headed to Qatar for “open discussions” with representatives of Taleban insurgents over the next few days aimed at ending Afghanistan’s long war, officials said on Friday.
The scheduled meeting would mark a significant step toward opening formal talks to ending the war, but it was not clear on Friday whether the Taleban’s reclusive supreme leader had approved them.
Pakistan’s army chief told Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in February that senior figures in the Taleban were open to direct talks with Kabul to end the war, but until now there had been little sign of progress.
The 20-member Afghan delegation will attend preliminary talks set for Sunday and Monday, said Attaullah Ludin, deputy chief of the country’s High Peace Council.
“The open discussions are based on peace in Afghanistan. There will be representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Taleban and some other organizations,” Ludin said.
He added that members of the High Peace Council would be meeting the Taleban in Qatar and also two representatives of Hizb-i-Islami, another militant group fighting Afghanistan’s US-backed government that also has a political wing.
A senior Taleban official in Qatar confirmed that a meeting was set for the next several days with Afghan figures, as well as some from Pakistan and other countries.
The Taleban official also said that Hizb-i-Islami figures would participate in the meeting.


Lebanon’s foreign minister resigns amid economic crisis

Updated 03 August 2020

Lebanon’s foreign minister resigns amid economic crisis

  • Nassif Hitti submits resignation to the prime minister and leaves government house without making any comments
  • Hitti’s resignation is a blow to Hassan Diab’s government

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s foreign minister resigned on Monday, becoming the first Cabinet minister to defect from his post amid the severe economic and financial crisis striking the country.
Minister Nassif Hitti’s submitted his resignation to the prime minister and left the government house without making any comments.
A career diplomat, Hitti became foreign minister in January as part of Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government. He was was reportedly unhappy with the government’s performance and lack of movement on promised reforms.
Local media reports said he also was angered by Diab’s criticism of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian following his visit to Beirut last month. Diab had said Le Drian “did not bring anything new” and was not properly informed about the reforms implemented by the Lebanese government.
It was not immediately clear whether his resignation would be accepted and whether one of the other ministers would assume his responsibilities in caretaker capacity until a new minister is appointed.
Hitti’s resignation is a blow to Diab’s government, which has struggled to implement reforms amid an unprecedented financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.