Deputy Afghan FM Hekmat Karzai resigns citing ‘serious opinion differences’

The Deputy Afghan Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai has resigned from his position citing the existence of ‘serious opinion differences’ with the government of national unity.

In his resignation letter to President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, Mr. Karzai has said he would prefer to remain alongside the people and resign from his position due to the existing differences in opinions with the government’s leadership.

Karzai further added that the existing differences have limited the working space for him to continue to his work for the national benfits of the country.

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US and Saudi officials discuss Afghan government’s likely ceasefire with Taliban

The US and Saudi officials have discussed the likely announcement of ceasefire by the Afghan government with the Taliban group during Eid Al-Adha.

“Secretary Michael R. Pompeo spoke today with SAudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” the State Department said in a statement.

The statement further added that the Secretary and the Crown Prince discussed their support for a ceasefire in Afghanistan over the coming Eid, and peace in Afghanistan more broadly.

No further details were given regarding the discussion about the likely ceasefire in Afghanistan.

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CEO: Supreme Court Should Rule On Issue Of Dismissed Ministers

The Office of the Chief Executive on Saturday said the interpretation of Article 92 of the Constitution is needed and urged the Supreme Court to interpret the article and release its decision on the fate of the seven dismissed ministers as soon as possible.

“Government is still waiting for the Supreme Court to interpret Article 92 of the Constitution. Once the interpretation has been received, then the dismissed ministers’ fate will be finalized,” Jawid Faisal, deputy spokesman of the CEO said.

Seven ministers were dismissed more than two months ago by MPs after they failed to spend their development budgets; but government sent the issue to the Supreme Court to interpret article 92 of the constitution that deals with the summoning of and dismissal of ministers.

Article 92 of the Constitution says if ministers cannot provide convincing explanations to parliament, MPs can consider a vote of no confidence.

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Taliban, Afghan Govt Resume Secret Talks Amid Deadly Battles

The Taliban and negotiators from the Afghan government have resumed secret talks in Doha of Qatar, a source close to the Presidential Palace (ARG) confirmed on Tuesday, adding that the National Security Advisor Mohammad Hanif Atmar and Mohammad Masum Stanekzai, head the National Directorate of Security (NDS) represented government delegation in the talks.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Palace in a statement said government will use all options that could help to clinch groundbreaking peace agreement with the militant group.

“The Afghan government firmly believes in a dignified and sustainable peace. For this purpose, Kabul will use all options and sources, but within the framework of the law,” said Dawa Khan Minapal, deputy spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani.

According to a report published in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, among those present at the meetings held last month was Mullah Abdul Manan Akhund, brother of Mullah Omar, Taliban’s founding leader, who led the movement from its earliest days until his death in 2013.

“The two rounds of the talks are the first known negotiations to have taken place since a Pakistan-brokered process entirely broke down following the death in a US drone strike of Omar’s successor, Mullah Akhtar Mans” read the report.

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NUG’s Constitutional Amendment Agenda Under Fire

In line with the political agreement signed between President Ashraf Ghani and his Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah, Ghani should already have issued an order for the establishment of a constitutional amendment commission, in consultation with the CEO, but this has not happened.

On Tuesday, legal experts reacted in anger over government’s reluctance to finalize the establishment of such a commission. They accused the NUG leaders of undermining the formation of the commission.

The NUG is now just two weeks away from its two-year in power anniversary.

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