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Abdullah In Uzbekistan To Attend SCO Summit

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(Last Updated On: November 1, 2019)

Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah met with Tajikistan’s Prime Minister Kokhir Rasulzoda on the sideline of Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s Council of Heads of Government Summit in Uzbekistan.

The two sides discussed bilateral relations, trade, election, regional connectivity and the Afghan peace process, Abdullah’s office said in a statement.

“Tajikistan is a close ally and strategic partner to Afghanistan,” Abdullah said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, Abdullah met with Kazakhstan’s Prime Minister Askar Mamin, and First Vice President of Iran Ishaq Jahangiri in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan.

Abdullah discussed the recent election of Afghanistan, peace, counter-terrorism, and bilateral ties with the two country’s leaders.

Abdullah on Friday arrived in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan to attend the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s Council of Heads of Government Summit.

He was welcomed by Uzbekistan’s Deputy Prime Minister Aziz Abdul Hakimov, Uzbekistan’s deputy foreign minister Ilhom Nematov, Tashkent mayor Jahangir and Ahmad Khalid Elmi, Afghan Ambassador to Uzbekistan.

“I thank the brotherly Government & people of Uzbekistan for their warm welcome and hospitality,” Abdullah tweeted.

In this summit, heads of governments will exchange views on regional politics and security, economic cooperation, investments, counter-terrorism, and extremism.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization SCO is an intergovernmental organization founded in Shanghai on 15 June 2001 by six countries China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

Currently, the SCO is comprised of eight countries India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan; and Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia are the observer countries of the organization.

The main objectives of the SCO are to 1: strengthen relations among member states; 2: promote cooperation in political affairs, economics, and trade, scientific-technical, cultural, and educational spheres as well as in energy, transportation, tourism, and environmental protection; 3: safeguard regional peace, security, and stability; and 4: create a democratic, equitable international political and economic order.

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Torkham crossing opens to trucks and visa holders

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(Last Updated On: October 22, 2021)

Islamic Emirate Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi said Friday that for now, the Torkham border crossing into Pakistan is open only to trucks and those with passports and visas.

According to him, people “who do not have passports and visas, whether they are adults or children, are not allowed to cross over to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (in Pakistan)” and will be sent home.

Balkhi said: “The relevant officials of the Islamic Emirate are trying to create more facilities in this regard.”

This comes after the Prime Minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Kabul.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed the increase of economic cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan, the resumption of civilian flights between Kabul and Islamabad, the increase of economic cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and keeping Spin Boldak, Torkham and Ghulam Khan border crossings open 24 hours a day.

Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund in turn called the relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan historic and said that he hoped that Pakistan would prove its commitments in practice.

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New EU relief flight delivers life-saving medical aid

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(Last Updated On: October 22, 2021)

Another EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flight has delivered over 28 tonnes of life-saving medical cargo to Kabul to address the dire humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

The EU-funded air bridge flight enables the World Health Organization, as well as humanitarian organisations such as ‘Emergency’ and ‘Première Urgence Internationale’ to deliver critical health items to those in need.

On the occasion, Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, said: ”This is the third EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flight since the fall of Kabul in August this year. This EU-funded flight represents an important lifeline to Afghans in urgent need of medical care.

“However, the overall humanitarian situation is rapidly worsening. In this view and the approaching winter, I urge the entire international community to step up and provide for life-saving aid to millions of Afghans whose lives depend on it,” he said.

The life-saving cargo consists of medical equipment to conduct surgeries and medical drugs.

On top of this third EU-funded flight to Kabul this week, further flights are scheduled for the coming weeks as an expression of EU solidarity with the people of Afghanistan.

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Russia mulling excluding IEA from list of extremist groups: Putin

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(Last Updated On: October 22, 2021)

Russia is moving towards excluding the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) from its list of extremist organisations, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, a day after high-level talks between Moscow and Afghanistan’s new rulers.

Russia labelled the IEA a “terrorist organisation” in 2003 but welcomed the IEA for talks in Moscow several times before it seized power in Afghanistan in August.

Earlier this week, Russia called for the mobilisation of international aid to support Afghanistan, as Moscow hosted the IEA for an international conference.

“We all expect Taliban (IEA), those people who undoubtedly control the situation in the country, in Afghanistan, we expect the situation to develop positively. Depending on that we will jointly take the decision on excluding them (IEA) from the list of terrorist organisations. It seems to me that we are getting close to it. Russia’s position will be to move in that direction.”

Putin also raised the question as to how the IEA will generate funds if assets remain frozen and Afghanistan is isolated economically. He implied that unless the new government is recognized internationally, money could be generated through the continued production of opium and heroin.

“The important problem is the drugs. 90 percent of opiates on the global market are coming from Afghanistan, as is well known. If they (IEA) won’t have money how will they fund the social issues?”

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