Washington, June 19 - The US has decided to hold direct peace talks with the Taliban, senior White House officials have announced. The first meet is due to take place in the coming days in Qatar's capital, where the Taliban have opened their first official overseas office, BBC reported.
US officials told reporters the first formal meeting between the US and Taliban representatives was expected to take place in Doha next week, with talks between Afghan President Hamid Karzai's High Peace Council and the Taliban due a few days after that.
The announcement came on the day NATO handed over security for the whole of Afghanistan to government forces.
Washington, Jan 12 - President Barack Obama has signalled a faster drawdown of US troops in Afghanistan with a changed role of training and advising Afghan forces as it moves to bring the decade-long war to a close by the end of 2014.
"Our troops will continue to fight alongside Afghans when needed, but let me say it as plainly as I can: Starting this spring, our troops will have a different mission - training, advising, assisting Afghan forces," Obama announced Friday after talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Washington, Jan 4 : Top outgoing top American commander in Afghanistan has said that the US would keep between 6,000 and 20,000 troops in the war-torn nation after 2014.
Marine General John Allen made his recommendations to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, but could not confirm what specific troop levels he has proposed as options.
Citing a senior military official, a report by the New York Times said that Allen gave Panetta plans for 6,000, 10,000 and 20,000 troops from which to choose for when NATO''s combat mission ends at the close of 2014.
Washington, Nov 20 : Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has reportedly ordered his aides to institute the "full Afghanization" of the U. S.-run prison at Bagram air base.
Karazi gave the order after charging that American forces are continuing to detain Afghans despite a bilateral agreement in March to transfer all prisoners to Afghan authorities.
In a Pashto-language statement tweeted from the presidential palace on Sunday, Karzai complained that some prisoners ordered released by Afghan courts are still being held by U. S. forces.
Washington, Sep 18 : Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai's office has rejected the detention of Afghan citizens by the U. S. administration, saying it runs counter to the country''s laws.
The move has potentially thwarted a U. S. plan to continue to hold Afghan detainees without recourse to a trial. and then summarily hand them over to the Afghans
The president''s office said in a statement that the detention of Afghan citizens without a court trial "has not been foreseen in Afghan laws," Fox New reports.
Washington, Aug 23 : Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai's top advisers have said the rise in insider attacks on NATO troops recently is the product of foreign spy agencies infiltrating Afghanistan's security forces.
After months of investigating, members of Karzai's National Security Council have concluded that both Pakistani and Iranian intelligence organizations are recruiting young Afghans to enlist in the army and police with the intention of targeting Western service members and whose ultimate aim is to destabilize Afghanistan's forces.
Washington, May 18 - US President Barack Obama will meet his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai during a NATO summit in Chicago Sunday, a White House official said.
"Obviously it is an important meeting because a central focus of the NATO summit will be on Afghanistan," said Obama's National Security Advisor Tom Donilon at a White House briefing Thursday, referring to the meeting between the two.
Obama met with Karzai earlier this month during his surprise visit to Afghanistan, where they signed the US-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement.
Washington, March 17 - US President Barack Obama called up his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai Friday to discuss the process of transition to Afghan-led security while reaffirming its timetable would be completed by
2014, the White House said.
The two presidents took the opportunity to discuss the process of security transition which will see Afghans have full responsibility for security across the country by the end of 2014, Xinhua quoted the White House in a statement.
Washington, March 12 - US President Barack Obama Sunday called Afghan President Hamid Karzai to express his "shock and sadness" at the killing of Afghan civilians.
A US soldier Sunday morning walked out from his military base in Kandahar province and opened fire, killing 16 civilians, including women and children.
"President Obama extended his condolences to the people of Afghanistan, and made clear his administration's commitment to establish the facts as quickly as possible and to hold fully accountable anyone responsible," the White House said in a statement.
Washington, March 9 - US President Barack Obama Thursday held a videoconference with his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai and discussed security issues in Afghanistan, the White House said.
White House Spokesman Jay Carney said Karzai updated Obama on the security situation in his country, Xinhua reported.
Carney said the two presidents discussed a range of issues of mutual interest, including US-Afghan Strategic Partnership negotiations and the Afghan-led reconciliation, which was "essential to the ultimate resolution of the conflict in Afghanistan".
Washington, Feb 22 - The US was pleased by the willingness expressed by Afghan President Hamid Karzai to talk directly to the Taliban, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland has said.
"I think we have been gratified to see President Karzai speaking out publicly in support of Afghan-to-Afghan reconciliation," she told reporters at a briefing Tuesday, adding that the US had been working on this "for some time".
Her comment came after Karzai issued a statement earlier Tuesday saying he was hopeful to have direct talks with the Taliban, reported Xinhua.
Washington, Dec. 20 : Senior U. S. officials say their talks with the Taliban have reached a critical juncture and they will soon know whether a breakthrough is possible.
They are hoping that the talks will lead to peace talks whose ultimate goal is to end the Afghan war, the Daily Mail reports.
Failure would likely condemn Afghanistan to continued conflict, perhaps even civil war, after Nato troops finish turning security over to Afghan president Hamid Karzai''s weak government by the end of 2014.
The U. S. has been in talks with the Taliban for ten months to release Afghan detainees at Guantanamo Bay
Washington, Dec 19 : The Afghan government cannot hold peace talks with the Taliban until the terror outfit identifies a representative with the authority to negotiate, President Hamid Karzai has said.
Afghanistan also needs the help of neighbouring Pakistan for any talks to succeed, Karzai told CNN in an exclusive interview Sunday.
The president said the killing of former president Burhanuddin Rabbani, who had attempted to meet Taliban representatives, showed that "we were actually talking to nobody".
"A man who came in the name of a messenger for peace turned out to be a suicide bomber," Karzai said.
Washington, Nov 30 : The United States has joined Afghan President Hamid Karzai in urging Pakistan to change its mind about boycotting the international conference on Afghanistan's future in Bonn next Monday.
"We certainly urge Pakistan to participate in this conference. It's very important for the future of Afghanistan," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday when asked if Islamabad's decision triggered any US concerns.
"Pakistan, obviously, will play an important role in the future of Afghanistan, and we urge them to participate in the conference," he said.
Washington, Nov. 18 : A senior Afghan opposition figure has warned that his country will in all likelihood plunge into civil and regional war if the United States does not leave a residual force of 20,000 to 30,000 troops in the country after 2014.
“The state will disintegrate” and Afghan security forces will break into factions, the Washington Post quoted Mohammad Hanif Atmar, a former minister in the government of President Hamid Karzai, as saying.
He added: “It is the perfect scenario for a proxy-led civil war among regional players including Pakistan and Iran.”