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Abdullah says reduction in violence is critical, issue needs to be prioritized

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(Last Updated On: December 17, 2020)
Speaking at an event in Kabul on Thursday, Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) said the Afghan Republic’s peace negotiating team is working together as a united front but that the critical issue of a reduction in violence still needs to be attained. 
 
Addressing the National Meeting to Promote Women’s Participation in the Reconciliation Process, Abdullah said: “Unfortunately today, the people’s demand is the reduction of violence, which they want to see in their daily lives, but this demand has not been met,” he said. 
 
“Afghanistan’s peace process has reached a special stage,” said Abdullah adding that “for us, it was important that the negotiations start. The negotiating team is working in a very united way.”
 
“The support for the negotiating team helps the team work harder,” he stated and said “hopefully the second round of the talks will start exactly on time.” 
 
“With the release of the Taliban prisoners we should have had a ceasefire or a significant reduction in violence,” Abdullah said.
 
“Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. Both sides must understand war is not the way,” he stated. 
 
“The people of Afghanistan expect optimal results from the peace process,” Abdullah said.
 
“A reduction in violence is at the top of the agenda proposed by Afghanistan (republic’s team),” Abdullah said. 
 
“Both sides must come together and enter the main discussion in the peace process.”
 
This comes after Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, Chief Negotiator for the Afghan Republic’s Peace Negotiation Team said the team has started consultations with government’s leadership, the HCNR, political leaders and various segments of society to get their views and suggestions on the next stage of talks. 
 
He said their advice will hopefully pave the way for peace and end the war in the country.
The talks teams will reconvene in Doha on January 5 after announcing last week they were taking a three week break. 

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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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