In their long-running rivalry, the United Arab Emirates has often accused its neighbor Qatar of abetting Islamist militants, citing as one prime example the 2013 opening of a Taliban embassy in the Qatari capital, Doha.
Now it turns out that the Emiratis tried to get the Taliban to open an embassy in their own country instead. The Emirati ambassador to Washington, Yousef al-Otaiba, even received “an angry phone call” from the foreign minister at the time complaining that the Taliban had ended up in Qatar and not the U.A.E., according to leaked emails from the ambassador’s account.
The leaks are the latest salvo in a two-month-old feud among the Persian Gulf neighbors that has divided Washington’s allies in the fights against the Islamic State and Iran. In June, the U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt cut off trade and diplomatic relations with Qatar as punishment for what they said was its support of Islamist extremism. Qatar, the site of the largest American air base in the region, charged that Saudi Arabia and the Emirates were inventing a pretext to bully their neighbor.
The U.S. watchdog tasked with overseeing the spending of billions of U.S. dollars in aid to Afghanistan said unprecedented restrictions on the movement of American government employees is sending a dangerous message to Afghan people and hinder the U.S. work in the country.
As many as 1,100 out of 14,000 schools throughout Afghanistan, mostly in southern provinces, including Kandahar, Helmand and Zabul, are closed primarily due to insecurity and government neglect.
President Donald Trump’s reservations about sending more troops to Afghanistan have triggered a new exploration of an option long considered unlikely: withdrawal.
A U.S. government watchdog has said Washington is drowning Afghans in money.
John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, has said that the U.S. “overwhelmed” Afghanistan with too much money at the beginning of the war in October 2001.
Local residents fear militants may overrun large swathes of in southern Ghazni province if the security situation is not strengthened with a sense of urgency.
However, security officials insist they are working day and night for improving the situation in the province. As a result of operations, they claim, militants are on the run.
The Islamic State group targeted the Iraqi Embassy in Kabul on Monday, with a suicide bomber blowing himself up outside the gates, followed by three gunmen who stormed into the building. The assault set off a four-hour firefight that ended only after Afghan security forces had killed all the attackers.