Afghanistan talks agree ‘roadmap to peace’

A landmark peace conference between the Taliban and influential Afghans, including government officials, has agreed a “roadmap for peace” that could hasten the end of the 18-year war. A statement called for an end to civilian casualties and the protection of women’s rights within an “Islamic framework”. The non-binding agreement comes as the US and the Taliban continue to negotiate an American withdrawal. The US toppled the Taliban in 2001. The seventh round of talks between American negotiators and the insurgents is expected to resume later on Tuesday. They hope to reach an agreement that would see US troops pull out in return for a commitment that Afghanistan would not be used as a base for terrorism. The Taliban are refusing to hold direct negotiations with the Afghan government until the US announces a timetable for the withdrawal.

Greek elections: Victory for New Democracy party signals end of left-wing populism

Initial results give New Democracy 39.6% of the vote, a strong mandate in a country governed for a decade by fragile coalitions. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras conceded defeat in a live TV broadcast, saying, “The result has been determined … but we will be back.” Kyriakos Mitsotakis of New Democracy thanked the Greek people in a victory speech, saying, “I know the difficulties lying ahead. … I don’t request a grace period because we don’t have time for it.” He added, “Transparency and meritocracy will return to Greece and our country’s voice will be heard in Europe.” Mitsotakis will be sworn in as prime minister at 1 p.m. Monday (6 a.m. ET).

Mexican peso drops after Finance Minster Urzua resigns

The Mexican peso dropped against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday after Mexico’s finance minister, Carlos Urzua, stepped down from his post. As of 12:34 p.m. ET, the peso traded down 1.4% at 19.18 per U.S. dollar. Mexican stocks also took a hit. The iShares MSCI Mexico ETF (EWW) dropped to trade nearly 3% lower on the day. Urzua tweeted out an image of his resignation letter, which was addressed to Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO).“Disagreements over economic matter were plentiful,” said Urzua in the letter, according to a CNBC translation. Some of them were because “this administration has made public policy decision without sufficient foundation… I am convinced that all economic policy should be realized base on evidence,” Urzua added. “However, during my tenure, these convictions were not echoed.” He also criticized the appointment of officials who “did not have knowledge” of public finance policy. Mexico’s economic growth stalled in the first quarter, rising just 0.1% compared to the year-earlier period, according to FactSet data. Some of AMLO’s economic policy moves, such as scrapping a $13 billion project to build a new airport in Mexico City, have drawn criticism from the country’s business community.