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Talks With Taliban Have Been Resumed: Donald Trump On Surprise Afghan Visit

He reaffirmed his desire to reduce the American troop presence in Afghanistan to 8,600 down from about 13,000.



BAGRAM (Afghanistan): US President Donald Trump said that the United States has resumed talks with the Taliban as he made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with US troops.

In his first trip to the site of America’s longest war, Trump arrived at Bagram Air Field last evening and spent more than two-and-a-half hours on the ground. He thanked the troops and met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

He told reporters that the Taliban wants to make a deal, and they are meeting with them. President Trump said, he has restarted peace negotiations with the Taliban after it was scuttled in September.

US President reaffirmed his desire to reduce the American troop presence in Afghanistan to 8,600 down from about 13,000.

It may be recalled that Trump ran his 2016 campaign promising to end the nation’s “endless wars”.

Tens of thousands of Afghan civilians and more than 2,400 American service members have been killed since the war began 18 years ago.

Trump’s visit happened weeks after the Taliban freed two Western academics who had been held hostage since 2016 in exchange for three imprisoned senior militants.

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Japanese Doctor Tetsu Nakamura, Working In Afghanistan Since 80s, Killed



JALALABAD (Afghanistan): A Japanese doctor whose long career was dedicated to helping some of Afghanistan’s poorest people was among six people killed Wednesday in an attack in the east of the country, officials said.

The armed assault in Jalalabad city, the capital of Nangarhar province, was the second deadly incident involving aid workers in recent days and prompted an appalled reaction in Afghanistan and internationally.

Tetsu Nakamura, 73, was the head of Peace Japan Medical Services — known as Peshawar Kai in Japanese — and had been working in the region since the 1980s, when he began treating patients with leprosy in Peshawar in neighbouring Pakistan.

A spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called Nakamura “one of the closest friends of Afghanistan”.

He “dedicated his life to helping and cooperating with our people”, spokesman Sediq Seddiqi said.

Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for Nangarhar’s governor, said Nakamura, who had been shot in the chest, was in the process of being transferred to a hospital in Bagram near Kabul when he died.

Five Afghans were also killed: three of Nakamura’s security guards, a driver and another colleague, Khogyani said.

Tetsu Nakamura, 73, who headed Peace Japan Medical Services, died from wounds sustained when gunmen attacked his vehicle in Jalalabad.

Photos from the scene showed a white pickup truck with a large cabin. Its side windows appeared to have been shot out, and at least three bullet holes could be seen in the windscreen.

The Taliban denied responsibility for the attack, saying they have “good relations” with organisations that “contributed to the reconstruction of Afghanistan”.
Nangarhar was once a hotbed of activity for the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate.

Nakamura was famous in Japan for his aid work, which dates back decades.

Peshawar-kai was founded by associates of Nakamura, who had lived and worked in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 1984.

In 2003 Nakamura, a native of the southwestern Japanese city of Fukuoka, won the Philippines’ Ramon Magsaysay Award for peace and international understanding — often called Asia’s Nobel Prize.

In a statement condemning Wednesday’s incident, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan expressed “revulsion” at Nakamura’s killing.

It was “a senseless act of violence against a man who dedicated much of his life to helping” Afghanistan’s most vulnerable, UNAMA said.

Fond of sporting Pashtun dress, Nakamura was an outspoken opponent of the 2001 US-led war that ousted the Taliban regime, whom he defended as able administrators.

“I am not fooled by the justification that violence is necessary for the sake of democracy and modernisation,” he wrote in an old posting on his website.

“True happiness for mankind should be realised not through violence or money, but in a humane way.”

Nakamura also described a variety of his organisation’s projects to help Afghans, including the construction of wells and irrigation canals, as well as health services.

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At Least 18 Indians Among 23 People Killed In Sudan

A 24-hour emergency hotline 249-921917471 has been set up at embassy of India in Khartoum. 



KHARTOUM (Sudan): At least 18 Indians were among the 23 people killed in an LPG tanker blast at a ceramic factory in Sudan. In a release, the Indian mission in Khartoum said, 16 Indians were missing after the incident that occurred at Seela Ceramic Factory in Bahri area in Khartoum.

It added that some of the missing may be in the list of the dead as identification is not possible because of the bodies being burnt.

The embassy today issued a detailed list of Indians who were hospitalised, went missing or survived the tragedy.

As per its data, seven people have been hospitalised, with four in critical condition. Thirty-four Indians who survived have been accommodated at the Saloomi Ceramics Factory residence.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said that the embassy representative has rushed to the site.

A 24-hour emergency hotline 249-921917471 has been set up at embassy of India in Khartoum.

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PM Modi Holds Delegation-Level Talks With Swedish Royal Couple

Apart from the official programme in Delhi, the royal couple is scheduled to visit Mumbai and Uttarakhand.



NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi held delegation-level talks with King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden in New Delhi this afternoon.

The leaders affirmed the common desire for building greater convergences on bilateral, regional and global matters of mutual interest.

The Prime Minister and the King also chaired the India-Sweden High-Level Policy Dialogue on Innovation Policy.

They emphasised the role of collaborative tech-innovation leadership of the two countries in meeting future challenges.

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia arrived on a state visit to India this morning at the invitation of President Ram Nath Kovind.

They were given a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhawan. This is His Majesty’s third visit to India. The King will meet the President this evening.

Earlier, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar called on the King and the Queen after their arrival and held discussions on ways to deepen bilateral ties.

Apart from the official programme in Delhi, the royal couple is scheduled to visit Mumbai and Uttarakhand.

On the other hand, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held a wide-ranging conversation with his Swedish counterpart Ann Linde in New Delhi this evening.

In a series of tweets, Dr Jaishankar said they discussed expanding bilateral cooperation in the fields of environment, manufacturing, health and smart cities. He added that there was a strong identity of views on multilateralism.

Both the ministers agreed on a new consultation mechanism. They also discussed challenges posed by terrorism, especially cross-border terrorism and emphasised that right to life is the most basic human right.

They agreed to work together in international fora to address the key challenge of terrorism.

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