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Ghani and Saleh send messages of condolences and support to India

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(Last Updated On: April 26, 2021)

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his First Vice President Amrullah Saleh on Monday sent messages of support to the Indian government and its people as the country battles a COVID-19 ‘tsunami’.

Infections spiked in India in the past 24 hours to another record high of 352,991 new cases.

Ghani tweeted Monday: “Our hearts go out to the Indian people & government as they fight the horrendous outbreak of COVID. On behalf of the Afghan people & government, we send our condolences to the families who lost their loved ones & wish a quick recovery to those who are suffering from the virus”

First VP Amrullah Saleh also sent a message of support and tweeted: “Our thoughts & prayers are with India, a true friend & ally of Afghanistan as it passes through difficult times combating deadly COVID-19. Wishing all Indian people more resilience & fast victory over the pandemic.”

This comes after India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged all citizens to be vaccinated and exercise caution. He said on Sunday the “storm” of infections had shaken India, as the country set a new global record of the most number of COVID-19 infections in a day.

The United States said it will immediately provide raw materials for one of the COVID-19 vaccines, medical equipment and protective gear to help India respond. France, Britain and Germany also promised rapid support.

“We were confident, our spirits were up after successfully tackling the first wave, but this storm has shaken the nation,” Modi said in a radio address.

His government has faced criticism that it let its guard down earlier this year, allowed big religious and political gatherings to take place when India’s cases fell to below 10,000 a day and did not plan for boosted healthcare systems.

Hospitals and doctors have put out urgent notices saying they are unable to cope with the rush of patients.

Outside a Sikh temple in Ghaziabad city on the outskirts of Delhi, the street resembled an emergency ward of a hospital, but crammed with cars carrying COVID-19 patients gasping for breath as they were hooked up to hand held oxygen tanks.

Elsewhere, people were arranging stretchers and oxygen cylinders outside hospitals as they desperately pleaded for authorities to take patients in, Reuters photographers said.

“Every day, it is the same situation, we are left with two hours of oxygen, we only get assurances from the authorities,” one doctor said on television.

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Russia’s Putin won’t attend G20 summit in person

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(Last Updated On: October 19, 2021)

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the G20 summit in Rome in person this month, but will take part via video link, the Kremlin said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Kremlin said Putin informed Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi about his plans in a telephone call during which they also discussed the situation in Afghanistan and bilateral issues.

This comes after the United Sates announced that will not join international talks on Afghanistan organized by Russia this week due to logistical reasons, but is open to participating in the future, the State Department said on Monday.

Moscow is hosting talks on Wednesday with officials from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), China and Pakistan, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special representative was quoted as saying last week.

“We will not participate in the Moscow talks. The Troika-plus has been an effective, a constructive forum. We look forward to engaging in that forum going forward, but we’re not in a position to take part this week,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.

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IEA Council of Ministers meet to discuss numerous issues

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(Last Updated On: October 19, 2021)

A meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) was held on Monday at the Presidential Palace in Kabul under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, Zabiullah Mujahid, the deputy minister of information and culture said in a statement.

The meeting was followed by a report back on the economic activities carried out by the Deputy Prime Minister, Mawlavi Abdul Salam Hanafi, read the statement.

According to the IEA the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amir Khan Mottaqi also provided information on important issues related to foreign trips and meetings with foreign representatives.

During the meeting necessary decisions were also taken on some important issues, Mujahid said.

A delegation was also formed from the agencies of Nadir Pakhtun Markets, in Kabul, and for mining. These were tasked to discuss in principle the modalities of starting construction work as soon as possible and submit plans in order for the implementation of the plans, the statement said.

Also higher education officials were instructed to take serious steps to standardize the affairs of universities and urged the officials of private universities to attract students to the relevant faculties after obtaining the necessary legal licenses.

Meanwhile, in order to control and organize the affairs of NGOs, the relevant commissions were tasked to evaluate the course of affairs, the activities of which should be tailored to the interests of the country in all respects and in accordance with the policies of the Islamic Emirate.

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India plans to send food to Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: October 19, 2021)

India plans to send food and medical aid to Afghanistan amid warnings that the nation could face a catastrophic famine this winter.

India is considering options to transport 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat and medical aid to Afghanistan. This, however, will be subject to Pakistan’s approval.

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called for “urgent and unhindered” humanitarian assistance to Afghan citizens.

Speaking at the G20 summit on Afghanistan, Modi had noted that the Afghan people have a great feeling of friendship for India and that every Indian feels the pain of Afghan people facing hunger and malnutrition.

Meanwhile, UN World Food Programme (WFP) had earlier said it is in touch with India to donate wheat to Afghanistan.

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