Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar attends talks with Afghan political figures in Moscow on Thursday. Nikolay Korzhov/AFP
A Taliban official said on Thursday that decent progress had been made at talks with a group of senior Afghan politicians in Moscow but that there had been no breakthrough and that further talks would be needed, Russian news agencies reported.
The delegation, led by chief Taliban negotiator Mullah Baradar Akhund, met politicians, including senior regional leaders and candidates challenging President Ashraf Ghani in this year's presidential election amid gathering diplomatic efforts to end the 18-year war.
The move, days after US President Donald Trump cancelled a planned meeting with Taliban leaders at his Camp David retreat, came as the movement looks to bolster regional support, with visits also planned for China, Iran and Central Asian states.
The US, which invaded Afghanistan and toppled the Taliban in 2001, wants to withdraw thousands of troops and turn the page on its longest ever war.
A Pakistani minister has branded the US ambassador to Kabul a "little pygmy" in a high-level diplomatic Twitter row that erupted over ongoing peace talks between Washington and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Pakistan's army later said that "unprovoked cease-fire violations" by Indian troops killed five civilians and one soldier and wounded another three civilians and two troops across the highly militarized Line of Control that divides Kashmir between Pakistan and India.
Travellers to the UAE shall be receiving a three-shaded bookmark, marking the start of the year-long celebrations for the much-awaited Expo2020 Dubai scheduled for Oct.20, 2020 to April 10, 2021.
Qantas said tests ranged from monitoring pilot brain waves, melatonin levels and alertness to exercise classes for passengers. A total of 49 people were on board, in order to minimize weight and give the necessary fuel range.
The developments made clear that one of President Donald Trump's rationales for withdrawing troops from Syria was not going to come to pass any time soon. "It's time to bring our soldiers back home," he said Wednesday. But they are not coming home.