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Hanafi appeals for cooperation, assures the world the IEA is a ‘responsible govt’

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(Last Updated On: October 20, 2021)

Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi said on Wednesday at the high-level meeting in Moscow on Afghanistan that the new Islamic Emirate (IEA) leaders assure the world that no security threat will be posed to them from within Afghanistan.

Addressing delegates at the summit, Hanafi said the new administration was a “responsible government “.

“We assure [the world and the region] that the security situation in Afghanistan is reliable and there is no threat to countries near and far.”

He stated Afghans now have a responsible government, which is committed to national interests, and to safeguarding the country’s political freedom.

“The current government also assures the international community that, as a responsible government, it fully understands all its national and international responsibilities,” he said.

Hanafi went on to say that the IEA leadership has tried to incorporate all ethnic groups and sections of Afghan society into the new Islamic government.

“We must remember that the recent development was a revolutionary one. But we assure our people that the process of reforming the country’s political structure continues.

“It should not be forgotten that the reform process in political systems is time consuming. But there is serious determination in our leadership that the new government will provide standard and fast services to our people,” he said.

Raising the issue of rampant corruption under the previous regime, Hanafi said this problem was prevalent in all sectors of the political structure and that despite repeated promises by former leaders to fight the scourge, nothing was done.

“You all wintessed that the people of Afghanistan have suffered greatly from widespread corruption over the past twenty years.

“Unfortunately, corruption in the previous regime covered all parts of the political structure, and despite beautiful promises at international forums, until the last moment of the previous regime, no progress was made in the fight against corruption, and the leaders of the previous regime missed every opportunity and used the pursuit of national wealth [for their own benefit].

“We inherited a government that owed money to its neighbors. One which had not even paid its employees their salaries for months.

“The new Islamic government proved in a short period of time that it is very serious about the fight against corruption and good governance, and that there will not be the slightest tolerance for corruption.

“We understand that our people have suffered from the wars imposed by foreigners, the imposition of foreign political structures, and widespread corruption. It is the responsibility of our government to provide good services to our people like any other nation in the world,” he said.

He also said it was the first time in over 40 years that a government in power was able to rule the entire country.

“Afghanistan now has a political structure with a clear hierarchy, a unified command. We no longer have anything called islands of power in Afghanistan.”

He said all the pillars of government were now in place and called on the international community to recognize the IEA as the legitimate government and to release Afghanistan’s frozen assets.

He stated that isolating Afghanistan was not in the interests of the rest of the world

“For the first time, our people have a (proper) government, they hope the international community has formal interactions with their government,” he said.

Hanafi told delegates the new government is ready to address all the international community’s concerns openly, honestly and transparently.

“I would like to remind you that the people of Afghanistan have no will to harm any country or nation in the world. As a civilized nation with a strong religion, culture and human values, we want to live in a peaceful environment. We want relations with neighboring countries, the region and the world that are based on the principle of respect for national sovereignty and mutual respect.

“With this platform, we once again call on the United States of America to unfreeze the reserves of the Central Bank of Afghanistan. This is, in fact, the wealth of the Afghan people, and our suffering people should not pay the price for political differences,” he said.

“I want to make it clear that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has proven in the past that in order to preserve freedom, national and religious values and the supreme interests of the country, no deal will be made under pressure that is not acceptable to our people. The pressure option has been proven (to be a failure) in the past.

“It is good to interact through understanding. The Islamic Emirate, as a legitimate government, is responsible for preparing for any civilized interaction with the rest of the world,” he stated.

Hanafi meanwhile met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on the sidelines of the meeting.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed in detail relations between the two countries, stability in the region and a better future for Afghanistan, MoFA spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi tweeted.

China meanwhile came out in support of the Afghan delegation’s participation at the Moscow summit and called on delegates to cooperate with the Afghan people in rebuilding the country.

“They say we can make our region safer and more stable,” Chinese delegates said.

China said it is cooperating with the new government and that it will not interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs but will continue constructive relations with Kabul.

“The international community must not ignore the progress made over the past two months,” China stated.

Eleven countries gathered in Moscow Wednesday to discuss the way forward with Afghanistan which is facing a looming humanitarian crisis as the international community continues to refuse to acknowledge the IEA as a legitimate government.

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IEA calls on former govt officials and ex-politicians to return home

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(Last Updated On: November 28, 2021)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) has called on former government officials and members of the political opposition to return to the country.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, who officially assumed duties on Sunday, said that former officials have the right to live as normal citizens in Afghanistan.

“We are in touch with all opposition [members]. We have urged them to return as Afghans; but should not expect to be appointed as a minister again,” Stanikzai said.

He has also called on foreign countries to reopen their embassies in Kabul.

“Their (foreign countries) ambassadors [for Afghanistan] are present in Qatar and opened embassies there, they (ambassadors) live in hotels and are in contact with us in order to have negotiations with us on various issues,” he noted.

Meanwhile, a high-level delegation led by Acting Foreign Minister Mawlavi Amir Khan Muttaqi is in Doha for talks with the EU and the United States.

Mohammad Naeem, a spokesman for the IEa’s political office in Qatar, told Ariana News that talks with the US delegation would begin on Monday.

The release of Afghanistan’s frozen assets and the reopening of embassies in Kabul and humanitarian aid are the main topics of the talks.

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New coronavirus variant Omicron keeps spreading, Australia detects cases

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(Last Updated On: November 28, 2021)

The new Omicron coronavirus variant kept spreading around the world on Sunday, with two cases detected in Australia, even as more countries tried to seal themselves off by imposing travel restrictions.

Health officials in Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, said two passengers who arrived in Sydney from southern Africa on Saturday evening had tested positive for the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, Reuters reported.

Both people were asymptomatic, fully vaccinated and in quarantine, NSW Health said. Another 12 passengers from southern Africa were also in 14 days of hotel quarantine, while around 260 other passengers and aircrew have been directed to isolate.

The Australian cases were the latest indication that the variant may prove hard to contain. First discovered in South Africa, it has since been detected in Britain, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Botswana, Israel and Hong Kong. Austria was investigating a suspected case on Sunday.

The discovery of Omicron, dubbed a “variant of concern” last week by the World Health Organization, has sparked worries around the world that it could resist vaccinations and prolong the nearly two-year COVID-19 pandemic.

Omicron is potentially more contagious than previous variants, although experts do not know yet if it will cause more or less severe COVID-19 compared to other strains.

Many countries have imposed a wave of travel bans.

In the most far-reaching effort to keep the variant at bay, Israel announced late on Saturday it would ban the entry of all foreigners and reintroduce counter-terrorism phone-tracking technology to contain the spread of the variant.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the ban, pending government approval, would last 14 days. Officials hope that within that period there will be more information on how effective vaccines are against Omicron.

Many countries have imposed or are planning restrictions on travel from southern Africa. The South African government denounced this on Saturday as unfair and potentially harmful to its economy – saying it is being punished for its scientific ability to identify coronavirus variants early.

In Britain, where two linked cases of Omicron identified on Saturday were connected to travel to southern Africa, the government announced measures to try to contain the spread, including stricter testing rules for people arriving in the country and requiring mask wearing in some settings.

The German state of Bavaria also announced two confirmed cases of the variant on Saturday. In Italy, the National Health Institute said a case of the new variant had been detected in Milan in a person coming from Mozambique.

Although epidemiologists say travel curbs may be too late to stop Omicron from circulating, many countries – including the United States, Brazil, Canada, European Union nation

Hanafi says that during 20 years of occupation there are 5 million addicts, among them 1 million are women and children.

Hanafi says that if TAPI project is implemented, Afghanistan will earn annually around $1 billion dollars through its transit rights.

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Cold and without shelter, migrants in northern France have narrow options

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(Last Updated On: November 28, 2021)

NGO workers and independent volunteers tended to migrants in a makeshift camp in Loon-Plage on Saturday, as the cold weather posed greater risks to their health.

Many migrants remained undeterred to cross the English Channel to Britain despite a recent dinghy capsizing that claimed the lives of 27.

“What happened last week, is the result of the pressure on exiled people which makes them take all kinds of risks and try to cross to Britain, whatever the weather. Because living here is simply impossible,” Salam NGO worker Pascaline Delaby told Reuters.

Seventeen men, seven women and three teenagers died on Wednesday (November 24) when their dinghy deflated in the Channel, one of many such risky journeys attempted in small, overloaded boats by people fleeing poverty and war in Afghanistan, Iraq and beyond.

A makeshift camp with tents has formed in Loon-Plage, near the site of a recently dismantled larger encampment in Grande-Synthe. Here, exposed to the elements, migrants gathered around fires, some wrapped in blankets.

When volunteers arrive, they queue for warm clothing, food, or a cup of coffee or tea.

Others received medical care from NGO workers treating wounds stemming from walking over long distances or the bitter cold.

“It’s a great concern to us that it’s getting colder, especially with people being evicted through the winter,” said First Aid Support Team NGO worker Helen Roberts.

She added that the cold weather also increased the risks of diseases such as pneumonia.

French authorities routinely dismantle migrant camps along the coast in an effort to discourage migrants from coming and attempting the crossing to Great Britain.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin is convening his counterparts from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and the EU in Calais on Sunday (November 28), to tackle the migrant crisis.

UK Home Minister Priti Patel was disinvited to the meeting, after British Prime Minister Borish Johnson poster on Twitter a letter addressed to French President Emmanuel Macron, in which he insisted that France agree on joint patrols on its shores and consent to taking back the migrants that make it to Britain.

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