Qatari official: Afghan talks postponed indefinitely
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A first round of Afghan-to-Afghan peace talks that would have seen Taliban and government officials sit together for the first time were postponed indefinitely Thursday...
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Kabul has announced a list of 250 people — including around 50 women — who are headed for Qatar for talks with the Taliban later this week, a gathering known as...
Trio of senators visit Afghanistan, Iraq
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said Monday that based on what she heard during a trip to Afghanistan, she's encouraged that female leaders there are pushing hard for...
Top Afghan official supports US outreach to Taliban
DEAD SEA, Jordan (AP) — A top Afghan official says he supports U.S. efforts to pursue a cease-fire with the Taliban, who effectively control half of Afghanistan and refuse to negotiate with his...
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The European Union's top diplomat has expressed support for U.S.-led efforts to resolve Afghanistan's 17-year war but stressed that the Afghan government should have a...
Bombs target Afghan Shiites marking new year, killing 6
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A string of bombs exploded near a Shiite shrine and cemetery in the Afghan capital on Thursday as people gathered to mark Nowruz, the Persian new year, leaving six people...
ZURICH (AP) — Under investigation by FIFA for allegedly abusing female players, Afghanistan soccer federation president Keramuudin Karim will remain suspended from soccer for 90 more...
Powerful political leader warns against squandering peace
HERAT, Afghanistan (AP) — A prominent Afghan political leader who once had the support of some officials to lead Afghanistan's negotiating team with the Taliban, warned the president Wednesday...
Afghans to hold Loya Jirga meeting to discuss peace talks
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan political and tribal leaders will hold a large gathering known as a Loya Jirga next month to discuss negotiations with the Taliban, the president's peace envoy...
AP Interview: Envoy says Russia’s clout in Afghanistan rises
MOSCOW (AP) — A senior Russian envoy asserted Wednesday that the U.S. has "completely failed" in Afghanistan, opening the way for Moscow to play the role of peace broker in the war-torn country from which the Soviets pulled out in 1989.
Afghans mourn former president at palace ceremony
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghans mourned the country's first post-communist president, Sibghatullah Mujadidi, at a ceremony Wednesday attended by his former comrades-in-arms, including his one-time spokesman and protege, former President Hamid Karzai.
The ceremony at Afghanistan's presidential palace was a solemn affair, with Mujadidi's coffin draped in a giant green shawl emblazoned with versus from the Quran, Islam's holy book, and later the Afghan flag. Mujadidi died early Tuesday.
Afghanistan probes election commissions after firings
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's attorney general has launched an investigation into allegations that the Independent Election Commission and a separate complaints commission misused their authority during last year's parliamentary elections.
The October elections were marred by chaos, and the full results have yet to be announced. The government announced the investigation on Wednesday, a day after it fired the 12 members of both commissions and barred them from leaving the country.
Afghan government fires election commission
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Afghan government on Tuesday fired its election commission more than three months after chaotic parliamentary elections — the results of which have still not been announced — and ahead of July's controversial presidential vote.
President Ashraf Ghani is among the candidates for president in an election that was to be held in April but was postponed because of the overwhelming number of complaints about the chaos that surrounded October's elections for Parliament.
Ghani says Afghan government must be included in peace talks
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says the Taliban are welcome to set up a political office in the capital but that his government must be included in any peace talks.
In a speech Monday, he rejected the idea of an interim government, which has been embraced by the Taliban and some opposition figures, vowing that elections will he held as planned later this year.
Top Pentagon official in Afghanistan amid push for peace
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Pentagon's top official made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Monday to meet with U.S. commanders and Afghan leaders amid a push for peace with the Taliban.
Pat Shanahan, the recently installed acting secretary of defense, said he has no orders to reduce the U.S. troop presence, although officials say that is at the top of the Taliban's list of demands in exploratory peace negotiations.
Afghan leader speaks with Pompeo amid fresh peace efforts
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's president spoke with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo late Tuesday in an apparent bid to reassert his authority as Washington accelerates its negotiations with the Taliban and as separate talks unfold in Moscow without the government's involvement.
Taliban to take part in ‘intra-Afghan’ talks in Moscow
ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Taliban said Monday they will participate in "intra-Afghan" talks in Moscow designed to bring together prominent Afghan figures, including former President Hamid Karzai, opposition figures and tribal elders — but no Kabul government officials.
In Kabul, US reports ‘agreements in principle’ with Taliban
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Negotiators for the United States and the Taliban insurgents have reached "agreements in principle" on key issues for a peace deal that would end 17 years of war in Afghanistan, the top U.S. envoy said Monday.
The statement by U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad followed six days of talks last week with the Taliban in Qatar, where he urged the insurgents to enter into direct negotiations with the government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
Afghanistan braces for rematch between political rivals
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah on Sunday registered to run for president later this year, setting up a rematch after a bitterly disputed 2014 vote led to a power-sharing agreement brokered by the United States.
US peace envoy in Pakistan seeking end to 17-year Afghan war
ISLAMABAD (AP) — U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in Pakistan on Thursday, the last leg of a regional tour aimed at finding a negotiated conclusion to Afghanistan's 17-year war, which would end the U.S.'s longest military engagement.
Taliban threaten to end talks with US on ending Afghan war
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban issued a statement Tuesday threatening to end contact with the U.S. even as Washington's peace envoy makes another round of the region in pursuit of a negotiated end to Afghanistan's protracted conflict before a frustrated President Donald Trump makes good on his 2016 campaign promise to end America's involvement.
Taliban suicide bomber kills 4, wounds over 100 in Kabul
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A Taliban suicide bomber killed at least four people and wounded scores when he detonated an explosive-laden vehicle late in the evening in the Afghan capital, officials said Tuesday.
It was the latest in a relentless wave of near daily attacks by the Taliban, who now hold sway over about half of the country and regularly target Afghan forces. The violence comes despite stepped-up efforts by the United States to find a negotiated end to the country's 17-year war.
FIFA maintains Afghan soccer boss’ ban during abuse probe
ZURICH (AP) — Implicated in sexual and physical abuse of female players, Afghanistan soccer federation president Keramuudin Karim has lost a first legal battle with FIFA.
FIFA says chief ethics judge Vassilios Skouris dismissed Karim's appeal against a 90-day interim ban while an investigation continues.
Ethics investigators secured the provisional ban, which can be extended by 45 days, in December after media reports of allegations by Afghan national team players.
Afghan adviser in China amid push for ‘long-term stability’
BEIJING (AP) — Afghanistan's national security adviser was in Beijing on Thursday as part of a push by his beleaguered nation for help in ending its 17-year-old war with the Taliban.
Hamdullah Mohib met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, telling him Afghanistan is seeking to "bring some long-term stability to our region."
US Army chief of staff makes surprise stop in Kabul
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The U.S. Army's chief of staff made a surprise visit to the capital Kabul where he met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to discuss prospects for a peaceful end to the country's 17-year war, the United States' longest.
Afghan president appoints Pakistan critics to 2 top posts
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani appointed hard-line opponents of neighboring Pakistan to two top security posts on Sunday, potentially complicating U.S. efforts to revive peace talks with the Taliban ahead of next summer's withdrawal of 7,000 American troops.
Afghan president orders probe into abuse of female athletes
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday ordered an investigation after the Guardian reported that members of the national women's soccer team were sexually and physically abused by men from the country's football federation.
The report in the British newspaper on Friday cited senior figures associated with the team as saying the abuse took place at the federation's headquarters in Kabul and at a training camp in Jordan last February.
Top diplomats at UN meeting offer support for Afghanistan
GENEVA (AP) — Top diplomats from Russia, the United States and the European Union united Wednesday in support for the Afghan president's efforts to stabilize his war-battered nation, saying progress has been made but more is needed, especially in areas of security, anti-corruption and the push to launch peace talks with the Taliban.
EU announces new funds for Afghanistan at UN conference
GENEVA (AP) — The European Union has announced 474 million euros ($535 million) in financial aid for Afghanistan as senior diplomats gathered for a U.N.-backed conference focusing on development, peace and security in the country.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani appealed for investment as the two-day conference opened Tuesday with top diplomats from countries like Germany, Russia and Iran among dozens of diplomats and officials to speak a day later.
Afghan official says death toll in mosque blast climbs to 27
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An explosion ripped through a mosque inside an Afghan army base in the country's volatile eastern Khost province as Friday prayers were drawing to a close, killing 27 soldiers and wounding 57, the military said.
The blast may have been set off by a suicide bomber or a remotely detonated bomb but nothing was officially confirmed and details were sketchy. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the explosion.
Afghan leader tells US audience that Taliban not winning war
WASHINGTON (AP) — The president of Afghanistan told a U.S. audience Monday that his country is not losing the war to the Taliban and is not at risk of collapse amid escalating attacks by the militant group and an expansion of the territory it controls.
President Ashraf Ghani said his administration is intent on seeking a negotiated peace with the Taliban, which have shown no interest in direct talks with a government they see as illegitimate.
NATO chief appeals for peace; Taliban kill 20 Afghan guards
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The NATO chief urged the Taliban on Tuesday to stop killing their fellow Afghans, an appeal that came just hours after the insurgents attacked border troops in western Farah province, killing at least 20.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the "Taliban must realize the war does not benefit anyone."
Afghans vote for 2nd day amid violence, technical issues
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's second day of parliamentary elections marred by violence and delays caused by technical issues came to a close as a roadside bomb on Sunday brought the death toll over the past two days to over 50, including several children.
The Latest: Amid violence, Afghan elections draw to a close
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Latest on Afghanistan's parliamentary elections, which were extended into a second day after technical issues led to hours of delays at voting stations (all times local):
The Independent Elections Commission chairman has announced the end of two days of parliamentary elections across the country.
Abdul Badi Sayat congratulated voters for turning out, saying that around 4 million people cast their votes at some 4576 polling centers.
US envoy on Afghan peace takes his mission to Pakistan
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Washington's newly named point man tasked with finding a peaceful end to Afghanistan's 17-year war is in Pakistan to seek help from the new government in Islamabad in bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table, the U.S. Embassy said Tuesday.
A former U.S. ambassador in Kabul, Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in Pakistan from neighboring Afghanistan. His tour of the region will also include Middle East stops in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Candidates begin campaign for Afghan parliament elections
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Contenders in Afghanistan's parliamentary elections kicked off their campaigns Friday ahead of next month's balloting as authorities reported that five candidates were killed in violence in the run-up to the campaigning period.
Mattis: Afghans boost troop vetting after insider attacks
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Afghan military has increased its vetting of local forces working with American troops as a result of recent insider attacks that killed two U.S. service members, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday.
Mattis was making his first public comments about his meetings in Afghanistan last week when he raised the issue with President Ashraf Ghani amid increased concerns about Afghan forces attacking U.S. troops they work alongside.
US Defense secretary makes surprise visit to war-weary Kabul
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Defense Secretary James Mattis made a surprise visit to Afghanistan's war-shattered capital on Friday, the U.S. command in Afghanistan said, just days after a suicide bomber killed 21 people in the city and wounded 90 others.
Russia indefinitely postpones meeting on Afghan peace talks
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Russia postponed indefinitely a meeting on the Afghan peace process planned for next week, Afghan officials said.
A statement released Monday by the office of the Afghan presidency said that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani have decided to postpone the meeting and hold it at a later date.
President Ghani insists the peace talks should be "Afghan owned and led," according to the statement.
Afghan president declines resignation of top officials
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's top security officials have tendered their resignation, but President Ashraf Ghani asked them to remain at their posts.
The presidential palace said Sunday that Ghani declined the offers to resign submitted by Defense Minister Tareq Shah Bahrami, Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak and Masoum Stanekzai, Afghanistan's top intelligence official.
Rockets strike Afghan capital in latest spike of violence
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Rockets slammed into the heart of the capital of Kabul on Tuesday as President Ashraf Ghani delivered a speech marking a Muslim holiday, the latest in a series of brazen attacks that highlighted Afghanistan's deteriorating security.
No injuries were reported from the mortar rounds that hit in the diplomatic quarter; one struck near the presidential palace, another near a NATO compound and the U.S. Embassy, according to police official Jan Agha.
Afghan president calls for Eid cease-fire, Taliban to reply
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has called for a conditional cease-fire with Taliban insurgents for the duration of the Eid al-Adha holiday.
President Ghani made the announcement Sunday during celebrations of the 99th anniversary of Afghanistan's independence in the capital of Kabul.
Afghan president visits key city, week after Taliban raid
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Afghan president visited the embattled southeastern city of Ghazni on Friday, a week after the Taliban in a surprise attack managed to infiltrate deep into the key provincial capital and capture several areas of it.
Brazen Taliban attack raises pressure on Afghan forces
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A brazen and bloody overnight assault Friday by the Taliban on a key provincial capital in central Afghanistan has increased pressure on U.S.-backed Afghan forces that are withering under relentless attacks, prompting President Ashraf Ghani to call an emergency meeting of his security officials.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Latest on developments in Afghanistan (all times local):
An Afghan interior ministry spokesman says that 14 people, including both civilians and military forces, have been killed in the suicide attack near Kabul's airport shortly after the country's controversial first vice president landed on his return from abroad.
Spokesman Najib Danish added that 50 other people were wounded in the attack.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is open to holding direct talks with the Taliban to encourage negotiations between the militant group and the Afghan government to end 17 years of war, U.S. officials said.
US open to direct talks with Taliban, officials say
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is open to holding direct talks with the Taliban to encourage negotiations between the militant group and the Afghan government to end 17 years of war, U.S. officials said Monday.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — With the Taliban shrugging off the Afghan government's latest offers of a cease-fire and negotiations, peace seems as elusive as it has been for decades in this war-battered country, both for troops on the front lines and for civilians facing frequent attacks.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — A summit of religious scholars organized by the Saudi-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation has called for a new cease-fire in Afghanistan, a request already dismissed out of hand by the Taliban.
The summit held by the 57-nation organization ended Wednesday. Participants issued a communique asking all sides in the conflict to put down their arms and begin "direct Afghan negotiations" to end the country's nearly 17-year war.