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Kerry to push for revival of Israeli-Palestinian peace process

WASHINGTON - US Secretary of State John Kerry will call for a revival of the collapsed Israeli-Palestinian peace process on Sunday when he attends an international conference in Cairo on rebuilding Gaza, American officials said. The top US diplomat and 30 of his counterparts convene in the Egyptian capital alongside UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who is seeking a record $1.6 billion in aid to rebuild the ...

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Iran, Six Powers Head Into ‘Very Tough’ Nuclear Talks

Iran and six powers returned to the negotiating table on Friday with only two months left to overcome hurdles in the way of a deal on curbing Tehran's nuclear program. No major breakthroughs are expected at the talks, which are to continue until the end of next week, but the pressure is on both sides to find ways to narrow the gaps. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton sat down with Iranian Foreign Mini ...

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Pakistani Court sends 100 activists to jail

A court in Pakistan has ordered 100 opposition activists to be sent to jail for staging illegal protests and committing several other violations, causing chaos and anger among activists. A crowd of demonstrators gathered outside a court in Islamabad on Saturday to protest against the court's decision. Recent protests have been headed by Imran Khan, a former cricket star and Tahir ul-Qadri who is a firebrand ...

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SCO members support Afghan-led reconciliation process

DUSHANBE,- Leaders of the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on Friday voiced support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation and reconstruction process. Participants of the SCO's Dushanbe summit stressed that Afghanistan's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity should be respected. They supported the implementation of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconcili ...

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Syria rebels name slain leader’s replacement

Ahrar al-Sham, a Syrian rebel group, has announced its new leadership after it lost its top brass during a bomb attack on a high-level meeting in Idlib province. Hassan Abboud, the head of Ahrar al-Sham, was among up to 45 people killed in an underground bunker near an ammunition dump outside Ram Hamdan on Tuesday. The new head is Hashim al-Sheikh, also known as Abu Jaber, while his deputy is Abu Saleh Taha ...

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German Official: Shariah Police Won’t Be Tolerated

officials in Germany say the government will try to ban a group of Muslim extremists calling themselves "Shariah police" who told people to refrain from drinking alcohol in the western city of Wuppertal. German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told Bild newspaper on Saturday that "Shariah law will not be tolerated in Germany." Wuppertal police reported earlier this week that a group of young Muslim men, ...

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Confusion as Ukraine and Russia announce peace progress

Ukraine and Russia have announced common ground and what appears to be a truce in their ongoing conflict. Kyiv has spoken of a "ceasefire regime" while Moscow has denied any ceasefire but steps towards "peace." Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday announced a ceasefire had been reached with Russia. But following an immediate denial by the Kremlin, Poroshenko watered down his comments. "The part ...

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Taliban ready to play role in ending violence in Afghanistan

The Taliban militants group in Afghanistan touted the group’s role as trouble shooters, bridge builders and problem solvers in a bid to allay the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s concerns. Following a statement released ahead of the NATO summit in Wales, Taliban claimed that it is the true representative of the Afghan people. The statement further added that the group can play a central role in resolvin ...

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NATO asked to keep support human rights

LONDON: The NATO member countries should make a firm commitment to support human rights protections in Afghanistan beyond the end of the NATO combat mission post-2014, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Wednesday. The NATO Summit in Wales, on September 4 and 5, 2014, is slated to discuss future alliance support for the Afghan government. The failure of the outgoing government of Hamid Karzai to institutionali ...

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Russia urges ‘immediate ceasefire’ in Ukraine

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said the talks on Ukraine crisis taking place in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, should seek an immediate ceasefire in the conflict. The statement came on Monday ahead of the Ukraine "contact group" talks that includes representatives from Russia, Ukraine, the Vienna-based OSCE security and rights organisation and separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine. Lavrov said t ...

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Iran President Rouhani hits out at US sanctions

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has criticised the US for new sanctions, saying they are "not compatible" with the spirit of current negotiations. Speaking on Iranian TV, he said Iran was still committed to continuing nuclear talks with the US and five other international powers. New sanctions on 25 firms and individuals were announced in Washington on Friday. World powers suspect Iran seeks atomic weapons ...

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Afghanistan to be key issue at NATO summit in Wales

The security situation of Afghanistan and ongoing unrest in Ukraine, to be the main Issues at NATO summit next week, according to North Atlantic Territory Organization. The Summit will also be attended by the US President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who will be travelling next week to Newport, Wales. Charles Kupchan, Senior Director for European Affairs, to ...

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Pakistan, China to work closely for Afghan peace

Pakistan and China have agreed to work closely for pushing forward the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. This was stated by recently appointed China’s Special Envoy on Afghan Affairs, Ambassador Sun Yuxi while briefing a group of Chinese and Pakistan journalists at a local hotel about his recent visit to Kabul here on Sunday. Referring to his meeting with Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhr ...

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Afghans Denounce Conflict In Gaza

Several hundred Afghan protesters rallied on Wednesday in the heart of Kabul to denounce the fighting in Gaza Strip and the killings of Palestinian civilians caught up in the conflict. Chanting anti-Israeli and anti-American slogans, the protesters marched through the centre of the Afghan capital, carrying banners and photographs of Palestinian children killed during Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. Israel says ...

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Elders Allege Attempts At Dividing Pashtuns

In order to achieve their goals, intelligence agencies of some countries have been trying to fuel differences among Pashtun tribes living on both sides of the Durand Line. These views were expressed by Mujahideen and Islamic Unity Council head Maulvi Mohammad Sardar Zadran at a gathering of tribal elders and religious scholars from Loya Paktia. Zadran said the Pashtuns on both sides of the British-mandated ...

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National Unity Govt Only Remedy, Says Spanta

National Security Advisor Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta on Tuesday called a national unity government the only solution to current political problems of the country. The election process ran into a deadlock after Dr. Abdullah Abdullah blamed his rival Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai’s team for rigging and boycotted the electoral bodies. But US Secretary of State John Kerry resolved the stalemate during his two-day vis ...

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Pakistan Demanding US Presence in Afghanistan

Pakistan has asked the United States to review its plan for withdrawing all troops from Afghanistan by end of 2016. According to reports, a delegation of Pakistani military officials has recently visited Washington to urge American officials to back the ongoing military offensive in North Waziristan even after troop pullout from Afghanistan. The development comes at a time when Pakistani military is carryin ...

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Contractors Rally against Interior Ministry

Dozens of contractors rallied in front of the Parliament in Kabul on Monday against the Interior Ministry failure to pay their dues worth $2.5 billion. One of the protestors, Mohammad Daud, said about 70 firms had signed some years back contracts with the ministry for logistic supplies to provincial police headquarters. Head of the Fayyaz Logistics Company, Daud said: “Under the contract, we are bound to de ...

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Tens Of Thousands Flee Israeli Raids On Gaza

Tens of thousands of Palestinians have fled their homes, as Israel continued to press its offensive on the Gaza Strip. Air strikes that struck the enclave on Wednesday killed at least 17 people, including four children, bringing the total deaths of Palestinians in the nine-day conflict to 213, with more than 1,450 wounded. One Israeli was killed a day earlier by a Hamas-launched rocket, the only Israeli fat ...

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Dunford Calls For Keeping Pakistan Engaged

Gen Joseph Dunford, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, has called for continued engagement with Pakistan as the only option to seek its help in resolving the Afghan crisis, even as he told American lawmakers after 2104 Washington could reframe its relationship with Islamabad. “I don't think any of us have an easy answer to Pakistan, other than continued engagement and engagement based on su ...

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