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Biden tells Congress US will continue to support Afghanistan and its peace process

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(Last Updated On: June 9, 2021)

US President Joe Biden said in a letter to Congress on Tuesday that Washington will continue to fully support peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban and will encourage other nations in the region, especially Pakistan, to do more to support stability in Afghanistan.

In his letter he stated that over the past few decades, the United States and its partners have trained hundreds of thousands of Afghan troops and that the US will with the support of Congress, “continue to support the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces”.

“We will also continue to support the rights of Afghan women and girls and to maintain significant humanitarian and development assistance to Afghanistan.

“We will continue to pursue diplomacy and fully support peace talks between the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban, facilitated by the United Nations. And we will encourage other nations in the region, especially Pakistan, to do more to support Afghanistan and to support stability in the country,” Biden stated in the letter.

“But we will not allow United States troops to be a bargaining chip between warring parties in other countries. That is a recipe for staying indefinitely in Afghanistan,” he said.

He also stated the US will withdraw responsibly, deliberately, and safely, from Afghanistan, in full coordination with its allies and partners.

“Our NATO allies and operational partners, who have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with us for almost 20 years and who have also made great sacrifices, will now withdraw alongside our forces as we stand by our enduring principle of ‘in together, out together’.”

Giving background on his decision to leave Afghanistan, Biden stated that he reached this conclusion “after conducting a rigorous policy review process and consulting closely with our allies and partners, with our military leaders and intelligence personnel, with our diplomats and our development experts, with the Congress and the Vice President, and with the President of Afghanistan and many other leaders around the world.”

He noted however that over the last 20 years, the terrorist threat to the United States has become more dispersed around the globe and that keeping thousands of troops concentrated on the ground in Afghanistan “no longer makes sense as the most effective counterterrorism strategy when the threat has metastasized across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.”

“Our focus and posture need to adapt accordingly,” he said.

But according to him, the US will not take its eye off the terrorist threat in Afghanistan.

“The United States will reorganize our counterterrorism capabilities and assets in the region to prevent the reemergence of a terrorist threat in Afghanistan.

“We will hold the Taliban and the Afghan government accountable to their commitments not to allow terrorists to threaten the United States or its allies from Afghan soil. And we will refine our national strategy to monitor and disrupt terrorist threats wherever they arise,” he said to Congress.

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Iran urges support for Afghanistan to ward off threat of terrorism

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(Last Updated On: October 27, 2021)

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said on Wednesday evening after the meeting on Afghanistan that humanitarian and economic support should be provided to Afghanistan so that insurgent groups do not use the current crisis to recruit soldiers.

Addressing a press conference after the foreign minister’s meeting on Afghanistan in Tehran, Abdollahian said the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) is a reality and they are running the interim government and should be encouraged to work towards the establishment of an inclusive government.

Abdollahian said delegates attending the meeting insisted that Afghanistan’s central bank assets be released for the sake of the country’s economy.

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres, meanwhile told delegates he was “deeply concerned” about human rights abuses and attacks in Afghanistan since the IEA took control.

In a pre-recorded video message, the UN Secretary-General said that Afghanistan was facing a growing humanitarian crisis that needed immediate action.

Guterres recalled the UN’s engagement with the IEA to provide humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people.

Moscow meanwhile has consistently advocated for the creation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan and has no plans to impose its recommendations on the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a video address.

“Russia is not inclined to impose its advice or recommendations on anyone. Moreover, history itself offers effective ways to solve problems. It’s vital to take the interests of the country’s major ethnic and political forces into account to the fullest extent possible,” he said.

“This is why we have been firmly and consistently supporting the creation of a truly inclusive Afghan government,” he stated.

“The people need to be sure that their rights and legitimate aspirations will be implemented through action, not just words, and will also be protected by law, certainly based on respect for local traditions and customs,” Lavrov explained.

On the other hand, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi stated that IEA officials want efficient engagement with the international community.

The people of Afghanistan are facing a severe economic situation, and their money should be released by other countries, he added.

In addition, Qureshi stressed that there must be a joint fight against terrorism at the regional level because the activities of terrorist groups are a threat to the region.

Meanwhile, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that IEA officials are eager to have dialogue with the rest of the world, and the international community should help Afghanistan with its development.

In an address delivered by video link to conference participants, Wang said Beijing was ready to host further talks between Afghanistan and its neighbours on the country’s future.

“The Taliban (IEA) are eager to have dialogue with the world … China will host the third Neighbours of Afghanistan meeting at the appropriate time,” Wang said in comments broadcast live by Iranian state TV.

The meeting of Afghanistan and neighbouring countries was attended in person by the foreign ministers of Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and China and Russia participated by video link.

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IEA eager for dialogue with the world: China’s Wang Yi

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(Last Updated On: October 27, 2021)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) officials are eager to have dialogue with the rest of the world, and the international community should help Afghanistan with its development, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday.

In an address delivered by video link to a conference in Iran on Afghanistan, Wang said Beijing was ready to host further talks between Afghanistan and its neighbours on the country’s future.

“The Taliban (IEA) are eager to have dialogue with the world … China will host the third Neighbours of Afghanistan meeting at the appropriate time,” Wang said in comments broadcast live by Iranian state TV.

The meeting of Afghanistan and neighbouring countries was attended in person by the foreign ministers of Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and China and Russia participated by video link.

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Iran says IEA must ensure security to all Afghans and borders

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(Last Updated On: October 27, 2021)

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Wednesday at the opening of a conference on Afghanistan in Tehran that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) are responsible for the security of all Afghans and the country’s borders.

Addressing delegates from Afghanistan’s neighboring countries, and Russia, Amir-Abdollahian said: “We must emphasize that the responsibility of security for Afghan citizens, as well as security at the borders of this country with its neighbors, first of all lies with the ruling council temporarily in charge of Afghanistan.”

Iran also called on the IEA to ensure the Shiite community in Afghanistan is provided security. This comes after recent attacks, claimed by Daesh, targeted this minority group in the country.

The Iranian foreign minister also called on the international community “to pay special attention” to political and humanitarian problems, as well as to terrorism, narcotics trafficking and women’s rights in Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, the Iranian foreign ministry called on the IEA, which was not invited to the meeting, to form an inclusive government and prevent violence.

“The people of Afghanistan are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, including food, medicine and vaccines to combat Covid,” Amir- Abdollahian told the second meeting of Afghanistan’s foreign ministers.

He said: “Considering the fact that aid should be distributed in such a way that people can benefit from it in a fair way.”

“Given the ubiquity of the UN umbrella, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s proposal is to request the Secretary-General of the Organization to make a concerted effort and, if necessary, mediate between the Afghan parties to reach an agreement on the future political structure of the country,” he said.

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