September 29, 2016

A CARAVANSARY:

U.S. may consider lifting sanctions on Afghan warlord: official (Hamid Shalizi and Josh Smith, 9/29/16, Reuters)

The United States may consider lifting sanctions on one of Afghanistan's most notorious warlords after a peace accord was signed in the Afghan capital on Thursday, a U.S. official said. [...]

"With this agreement, I hope to put an end to the current crisis in the country," Hekmatyar said in his message.

"I call on all sides to support this peace deal and I call on the opposition parties of the government to join the peace process and pursue their goals through peaceful means."

He reiterated his calls for an end to "foreign interference" and for all foreign troops to leave Afghanistan.

Hekmatyar, who served as prime minister in the 1990s, before the rise to power of the Taliban, has long been known as close to neighboring Pakistan, and he received U.S. aid during the fight against the Soviets.

His faction of Hezb-i-Islami has played a relatively small role in the current conflict, in which the Taliban have a leading role in battling the Western-backed government in Kabul.

But government officials hope the accord will be a first step toward eventually making similar peace deals with the Taliban and other groups.

"This is a chance for the Taliban and other militant groups to show what their decision is: To be with people and join the respected caravan of peace, like Hezb-i-Islami, or confront the people and continue the bloodshed," Ghani said.

Posted by at September 29, 2016 7:41 PM

  

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