peace talks

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US Won't Budge on One Key Point as Syria Talks Begin

US, allies want Assad gone from Syria—and want Russia, Iran on board

(Newser) - Talks designed to seek peace in Syria began Friday in Vienna, and this time there's a new player involved in the negotiations: Iran, Bashar al-Assad's No. 1 ally, Reuters notes. "Those who tried to resolve the Syrian crisis have come to the conclusion that without Iran being... More »

10 Russian Troops Caught in Ukraine Before Peace Talks

Moscow calls it an accident, but Ukraine thinks otherwise

(Newser) - Ten Russian paratroopers have been captured by Ukraine after crossing the border during a patrol yesterday, the AP reports. Russia says they crossed by accident, but Ukraine isn't buying it. Regardless of who's right, the detention of the men raised tensions as talks got underway in Minsk between... More »

US Reining In Drone Strikes in Pakistan—Maybe

But White House official denies claim

(Newser) - With Pakistan looking to forge peace with the Pakistani Taliban, the US is reducing its drone strikes in the country at Islamabad's request, US officials tell the Washington Post : "That’s what they asked for, and we didn't tell them no." The Post sees the fact... More »

Karzai Skirted West to Secretly Deal With Taliban

But officials say no peace deal with Taliban is forthcoming

(Newser) - The latest strain on the tenuous US-Afghanistan relationship: Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been secretly negotiating with the Taliban. With no Western involvement, Karzai has been trying to hash out a peace agreement, which, officials say, explains a lot of his recent inexplicable and vexing actions (see: refusing to sign... More »

Syria Peace Talks Open—Unpleasantly

Sides take firm stances in opening speeches

(Newser) - With more than 100,000 dead in a divided Syria, government and opposition leaders are in Switzerland today for year-in-the-making international peace talks. Direct talks haven't even begun yet (that comes Friday), but so far, the tone at the "Geneva II" talks has been far from friendly, the... More »

US, Russia Discuss Syria Ceasefires; Assad Rolls Eyes

And Syrian opposition questions whether to attend peace talks

(Newser) - The US and Russia are discussing the notion of "localized ceasefires" in Syria as peace talks loom next week in Switzerland—offering the first chance for opposing sides to sit down face-to-face, the AP reports. John Kerry, meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Paris, said ceasefires in... More »

India Blames Pakistan in Killing of 5 Soldiers

Clash boosts tensions amid push for talks

(Newser) - India says five of its soldiers were ambushed and killed by Pakistani soldiers and fighters along the countries' Kashmir border—a claim Pakistan rejects. "The ambush was carried out by approximately 20 heavily armed terrorists along with soldiers of Pak army," says India's defense ministry. Pakistan denies... More »

US, Afghanistan, Taliban: Secret Talks Under Way

Hamid Karzai is in Pakistan today to discuss negotiations

(Newser) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai arrived in Pakistan today, one day after telling the Wall Street Journal that his country has entered into three-way peace talks with the Taliban and the US. Karzai is in Pakistan to discuss the negotiations and request that country's help; Islamabad's cooperation is necessary,... More »

US-Taliban Peace Talks Could Resume Within Weeks

Hamid Karzai just needs to give the OK

(Newser) - Peace talks between the US and the Taliban could resume within weeks, just as soon as Afghan President Hamid Karzai gives the go-ahead. The last tentative deal, which involved transferring five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay into Afghan custody, fell apart in December because Karzai would not cooperate, the Washington ... More »

Afghanistan Ditches 3-Way Peace Talks

Won't attend US-Pakistan meetings after ex-president's assassination

(Newser) - Fuming at Pakistan over its alleged role in the assassination of a former Afghan president , Kabul is abandoning a trilateral attempt at peace in the region. A meeting between US, Afghan, and Pakistani officials had been scheduled for Oct. 8, with the three intending to work toward bringing the Taliban... More »

Libya Rebels Skunk AU Peace Plan

African Union proposal would have left Gadhafi in power

(Newser) - Despite a sudden rush of defections from Moammar Gadhafi's forces, with five generals and up to 120 officers joining the rebels in recent days, the latest push for a peace agreement by South Africa's president appears to be dead on arrival, reports the LA Times . Jacob Zuma met... More »

India, Pakistan to Kick-Start Peace Talks

Talks had ceased after 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks

(Newser) - As one country closes a door , another opens a window. India and Pakistan today announced that they would kick-start the wide-ranging peace talks that ground to a halt after the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, which were blamed on Pakistan-based militants. The US has been cheering on the efforts, in hopes... More »

South Korea Agrees to Talks With North

Meetings intended to lower military tensions

(Newser) - South Korea has accepted a Northern Korean proposal for talks between the two nations' defense ministers, in an effort to ease tensions following the Yeonpyeong shelling. The North has offered to sit down several times this month, but until now Seoul has rejected its overtures, demanding an apology for the... More »

US Drops Push for Israeli Settlement Freeze

But there's not really a clear plan to replace it

(Newser) - The White House is giving up on an Israeli settlement freeze as the ticket to reviving gasping peace talks. There doesn't appear to be a clear plan B, but officials say that the 90-day freeze Washington sought—on which PM Benjamin Netanyahu failed to secure a buy-in from his Cabinet—... More »

Taliban Chief at Peace Talks Was Impostor

Fake leader paid handsomely for taking part in talks

(Newser) - A "Taliban leader" heavily involved in peace talks in Afghanistan was an impostor, according to US and Afghan officials. The man, who pretended to be high-ranking Taliban leader Mullah Mansour, was flown to several meetings with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and was given a sizable sum of cash for... More »

Netanyahu Will Push for Settlement Freeze

Official gives details of proposed deal

(Newser) - Despite the angry-sounding words recently exchanged between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over planned Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, Netanyahu has reportedly agreed to push for a new settlement freeze. Under the proposed deal, Netanyahu will ask his cabinet to freeze construction for just 90 more days... More »

Afghan Peace Talks Not Actually Happening: Officials

Experts say reports likely part of 'information strategy'

(Newser) - Don’t believe the reports of high-level peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government: No such discussions are taking place, say US officials and Afghan experts. Such reports, the experts noted, could be intended to divide Taliban bosses, McClatchy reports. “This is a psychological operation, plain and... More »

NATO Escorts Taliban Elite to Afghan Peace Talks

Talks have included commanders at the highest level of insurgency

(Newser) - NATO troops have been helping top Taliban commanders get to Kabul for face-to-face peace talks with Hamid Karzai, sources tell the New York Times. In at least one case, Taliban leaders actually hopped aboard a NATO aircraft to make the journey, and in others NATO has secured roads, promising leaders... More »

Karzai Confirms Taliban Talks

Reps are talking 'countryman to countryman,' he says

(Newser) - It's official: Hamid Karzai is talking to the Taliban in a last-ditch bid for peace. In an interview with CNN 's Larry King set to air today, the Afghan leader says his government is engaged in "unofficial" discussion with Taliban reps. "We have been talking to the Taliban... More »

Taliban, Karzai In Talks to End War

Leaders seeking peace deal, role in government: sources

(Newser) - The Taliban are in secret talks with the Afghan government to end the war, according to the Washington Post , which cites Arab and Afghan sources. The Taliban's representatives are this time authorized to speak on behalf of Mullah Omar and other leaders and "they are very, very serious about... More »

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