Archive for: June 2013

Afghanistan Government Pulls out of Taliban Talks

This week, the US and the Taliban are holding peace talks on behalf of the Afghan government as the Taliban “expressed their desire to talk”. However, the Afghan government announced its pullout with an angry President Hamid Karzai also cancelling security talks with the United States.

President Karzai’s anger stemmed from the reports that the Taliban was offering its new office in Doha, Qatar as the government, putting up a sign proclaiming its former name when it ruled Afghanistan, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The Afghan President renewed its claims that the Taliban and some Western officials wanted to overtake the Afghan government.

However, despite Karzai’s intention to pull back, the United States continues its peace and security talks with the Afghan government.

President Karzai said that the suspension of US security negotiation was because of the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan past the scheduled pullout of American soldiers next year. Karzai also accused the United States and the Taliban for collaborating with the Taliban. However, he retracted the remarks later and said it was misinterpreted.

Karzai’s response was expected by the White House. US President Barack Obama said that they understood the entire peace talks with the Taliban will not be easy. He still believes Karzai remains open to negotiations with the Taliban.

Germany Floods Force Thousands From Their Homes

German flooding continues to go through Stendal, Germany as thousands of homes become devastated by the ensuing flood alongside the River Elbe on Wednesday. People are now being evacuated from their homes in helicopters and amphibious vehicles to move them to safety. Some residents still remained but were forced by authorities to leave.

The village of Fischbeck near Stendal was completely flooded when the waters destroyed its dike. The repairs to the dike had failed. News correspondents cannot even reach the critical and dangerous condition of the village.

The interior ministry of Saxony-Anhalt said that they expect the waters to further destroy cities. They also said that they were trying to build new emergency dikes to stop the floods. City and town residents claim that this is the biggest and the worst flooding Germany has ever had in 30 years.

Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the flood hit regions of the country on a tour. In the following days she will hold talks to put up a relief find where there is no upper limit to financial aid to anyone afflicted by the floods.

Her debate will focus on counting the cost of the floods, removing the “price tags” of the flood damages and putting together the relief package. She will meet with Germany’s 16 premiers to resolve the issue.