Posted by SlaWorld | Мир, новости

Washington’s envoy to Afghanistan on Saturday emphasized the economic benefits of the peace deal with the Taliban, forging ahead with an agreement that has run into new political obstacles in the U.S. and the region.Zalmay Khalilzad was wrapping up a weeklong trip that included stops in Uzbekistan, Pakistan and the Gulf state of Qatar, where Taliban negotiators are headquartered.Accompanying Khalilzad for the first time was an economic development team led by U.S. International Development Finance Corporation Chief Executive Officer Adam Boehler.  Qatar, Pakistan projectsKhalilzad offered no details about the kinds of economic projects being envisioned to jump-start an economy battered by widespread corruption and currently 75% funded by international donations. However, he did suggest joint economic projects involving Qatar and Pakistan, possibly on infrastructure and trade.The U.S. signed a peace deal with the Taliban in February to end 19 years of war in Afghanistan.Khalilzad has sought to stress the economic benefits of the peace deal throughout his tour. In a series of tweets early Saturday, the U.S. envoy said he met with the Qatar Investment Authority and the Taliban’s chief negotiator, Mullah Abdul Ghani, in the tiny Gulf state’s capital of Doha.”We agreed development plans in support of peace can never start too early,” Khalilzad tweeted.  FILE – Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi speaks to reporters in Multan, Pakistan, Oct. 11, 2019.Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi tested positive for COVID 19, just 48 hours after meeting with with Khalilzad. Both had been pictured wearing masks during their meeting on Wednesday in the Pakistani capital of IslamabadQureshi said he developed a fever on Friday and tested positive for the virus. But he promised to “carry on” his official duties from home.Even as Khalilzad winds up his latest diplomatic mission, there was no date for crucial intra-Afghan negotiations that bring the Taliban together with the Afghan government and other local actors. Khalilzad called for a quick resolution of outstanding issues so those negotiations could begin.The biggest hurdle has been the release of prisoners. The peace deal called for the Afghan government to free 5,000 Taliban prisoners in exchange for the Taliban releasing 1,000 government personnel. So far, the government has freed 4,015 and the Taliban has freed 669, according to the Afghan government..Ghani earlier this week suggested that his government had a problem with some of the names on the Taliban’s list of prisoners to be released and said alternative names would be given.It seems unlikely that the Taliban will accept anyone not on the list agreed upon during negotiations with the U.S.’Phony excuses’Suhail Shaheen, Taliban political spokesman in Doha, called the Afghan government reasons for delaying prisoner releases “phony excuses” and the reason for the delay in beginning intra-Afghan talks.As of Saturday, Afghanistan had recorded 32,600 confirmed cases of coronavirus, but international nongovernmental organizations say the rate is much higher and have warned that the country’s war-ravaged health care system risks collapsing.Seemingly indicative of the lack of health care facilities in Afghanistan to deal with the virus, Ghani’s special envoy for economic development, Yosuf Ghaznafar, went to Turkey when he became ill with COVID-19. On Friday, he died of the disease, according to a statement from the presidency. Ghaznafar is the senior most Afghan official to die of the virus.Afghanistan has so far recorded 826 deaths from the virus.

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