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China, Central Asia should help Afghanistan maintain stability: think tank forum attendees

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(Last Updated On: November 20, 2021)

China and Central Asian countries should actively assist Afghanistan in dealing with humanitarian crisis and bringing about a smooth transition of the situation in Afghanistan, said attendees at a think tank forum held in Beijing on Friday.

The think tank forum of China and five Central Asian Countries focused on the new situation of Afghanistan, the security and development of Central Asia.

Diplomats and think tank representatives had both online and offline discussions of the relevant topics.

In his speech at the forum, Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Yucheng said that the changed situation in Afghanistan proves again that military intervention, power politics and the so-called “democratic transformation” are cul de sac.

“As a neighbor, China has been active in providing necessary emergency aid and anti-epidemic support to Afghanistan. China is stepping up efforts to implement the 200 million yuan emergency humanitarian assistance,” Le said.

Many attendees agreed that China and Central Asian countries should strengthen solidarity and cooperation to jointly support their neighbor Afghanistan in embarking on the road to peace, stability and development.

Aide to Kazakh president Erlan Karin said “Kazakhstan concerns about the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said earlier that Afghanistan should not be left alone to face the plight, but humanitarian assistance should be given to it.”

“Countries in the region should unite to solve the security challenges first so as to avoid humanitarian crisis and the refugee issue so as to make the situation in Afghanistan stabilize and develop. At the same time, these countries should try to realize security and stability and common development through regional cooperation,” said Sun Zhuangzhi, director of the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

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Islamic countries to meet on Afghanistan crisis on Dec. 19

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2021)

Pakistan’s foreign minister called on Saturday for a fresh effort to stop neighboring Afghanistan sliding further into crisis as he announced an extraordinary meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) later this month. 

The meeting of foreign ministers from Islamic countries will be held in Islamabad on Dec. 19, with delegations from the European Union and the so-called P5 group of the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China also invited.

“To abandon Afghanistan at this stage would be a historic mistake,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi told a news conference in Islamabad, warning that half the country was facing the risk of starvation that could trigger further chaos.

“Instability could give way to renewed conflict, it could trigger an exodus of refugees,” he said.

There have been growing warnings of the humanitarian crisis facing Afghanistan since international aid was abruptly cut following the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) takeover on Aug. 15 and fears of disaster if the situation is not brought under control.

However, getting help in has been hindered by sanctions on dealing with the IEA, the U.S. decision to freeze billions of dollars of central bank reserves held outside Afghanistan and the collapse of much of the country’s banking system.

Pakistan recently agreed to allow 50,000 tonnes of wheat to transit through its territory from India to help Afghanistan but aid agencies have warned that much more help is urgently needed.

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Pakistan to let Afghan trucks transport wheat from India to Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2021)

Pakistan’s has allowed India to transport 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat and life-saving medicines through Wagah as humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, the Pakistani government said in a statement Saturday.

“With a view to further facilitate Pakistan’s decision to allow transportation of 50,000 MT of wheat and life-saving medicines from India to Afghanistan via Wagah border on an exceptional basis for humanitarian purposes, it has been decided to also allow the use of Afghan trucks for transportation from Wagah border to Torkham,” read the statement.

“This demonstrates the commitment and seriousness of the Government of Pakistan to facilitate the proposed humanitarian assistance.”

The statement noted that the decision was conveyed to the Charge d’ Affaires of India on Saturday at the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs adding that “the Indian government was also urged to proceed quickly to take necessary steps to expeditiously undertake the delivery of the humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.”

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France, Europeans working to open joint mission in Afghanistan: Macron

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2021)

Several European countries are working on opening up a joint diplomatic mission in Afghanistan that would enable their ambassadors to return to the country, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday.

Western countries have been grappling with how to engage with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) after they took power in Afghanistan in mid-August.

The United States and other Western countries shut their embassies and withdrew their diplomats when the previous government collapsed, following which the IEA declared an interim government whose top members are under U.S. and U.N. sanctions.

“We are thinking of an organisation between several European countries… a common location for several Europeans, which would allow our ambassadors to be present,” Macron told reporters in Doha before heading to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Reuters reported.

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