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Khalilzad in Kabul to remove obstacles ahead of intra-Afghan negotiations



(Last Updated On: August 1, 2020)

U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad visited Kabul on July 29 and discussed the ongoing efforts to resolve the remaining issues ahead of intra-Afghan negotiations with the Afghan leaders.

In a statement released on Thursday, the US Embassy in Kabul said that Khalilzad met with President Ashraf Ghani, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah, former President Hamid Karzai and other officials.

“He discussed ongoing efforts to resolve the remaining issues ahead of intra-Afghan negotiations, including the need to keep violence down by all sides after the historic Eid al-Adha ceasefire and the final prisoner releases,” the statement said. 

Khalilzad underscored the need to stop the bloodshed and seize this historic opportunity for peace. 

“Ambassador Khalilzad also provided updates on regional and international efforts in support of intra-Afghan negotiations,” the statement concluded.

It comes as Suhail Shaheen, spokesman for the Taliban’s political office in Doha, said on Thursday the group has released 82 prisoners of the Afghan government from its captivity.

Shaheen noted that it has completed the process of releasing Afghan government prisoners, reaching a total released of 1000 inmates.

On Wednesday, Shaheen called on the Afghan government to reciprocate by releasing the remainder of the 5,000 Taliban prisoners, as per the US-Taliban agreement signed earlier this year in Doha.

The group has also declared a three-day ceasefire over Eid al-Adha and ordered its not to carry out any attacks against the Afghan forces.

In a statement on Twitter, the group said fighters have been ordered not to conduct any attacks on Afghan security forces unless in retaliation for attacks against them. 

“The ceasefire will be conducted for Afghan people to enjoy a prosperous and peaceful Eid,” the statement read. 

Meanwhile, Bahador Aminian, Iranian Ambassador to Kabul said that his country has also spoken with the Afghan government and the Taliban so that the two sides remove their disputes to pave the way for the intra-Afghan negotiations.

“The Afghan government officials should be united in order to achieve peace and we have pushed for putting aside their differences over the republic political system, and Iran has called on both sides to end the violence,” Bahador told Ariana News.

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IEA to assess academic credentials of religious scholars



(Last Updated On: October 26, 2021)

A meeting of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) cabinet ministers was held on Tuesday, IEA said in a statement.

At the meeting, Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund approved a plan to regulate the academic ranks of religious scholars and evaluate their academic credentials.

Akhand stressed at the ministerial meeting that the documents of religious scholars should be evaluated and their academic ranks should be determined, the statement said.

In addition to this, a delegation from the IEA has been appointed to resolve the problem of companies not being able to access their money held in banks.

The continuation of the ID card distribution process, the preparation of a population census plan, solving the problem of drug addicts, the sound management of foreign aid, and the TAPI project were also discussed at Tuesday’s meeting of IEA’s ministers.

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IEA leader meets with Chinese officials in Qatar, discusses bilateral issues



(Last Updated On: October 26, 2021)

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi has again urged the US to ease sanctions against the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) to help the country overcome a looming humanitarian crisis.

Speaking during the first high-level meeting with the Afghan interim government in Qatar on Monday, Wang emphasized the seriousness of the problem unfolding in Afghanistan.
It was Wang’s first meeting with acting deputy prime minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar since July, when the IEA leader visited Tianjin in northern China shortly before the takeover of Kabul, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post reported.

“Afghanistan is facing quadruple challenges, namely the humanitarian crisis, economic chaos, terrorist threats and governance difficulties. Overcoming these challenges requires more understanding and support from the international community,” Wang said.

“China urges the Western countries led by the United States as a whole to lift sanctions, and calls on all parties to engage with the Afghan Taliban (IEA) in a rational and pragmatic manner to help Afghanistan embark on a path of sound development.”

Wang also pledged that China would continue to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

Beijing announced last month that it would donate 200 million yuan (US$31.3 million) in aid, including food and coronavirus vaccines, to the war-torn nation, SCMP reported.

Meanwhile, a delegation led by Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi met with a delegation led by Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday.

The two sides discussed issues including diplomatic relations, bilateral trade, China’s humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and the creation of higher education opportunities for Afghan students in China, as well as opportunities and challenges in bilateral relations.

The acting minister thanked China for its comprehensive assistance and said that the new Islamic government would ensure that Afghan soil would not be used against any country, including China.

Muttaqi said Afghanistan had a balanced foreign policy based on co-operation and understanding.

“China has an important place in our foreign policy and is an important country in the region,” he added. The whole region, including China, benefits from Afghanistan’s stability.

The Chinese Foreign Minister welcomed the recent positive developments in Afghanistan and noted that Afghanistan and China have historical ties.

He said China would work in the future based on the common interests of both countries and would never interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.

Wang said his country respected Afghanistan’s security, independence and territorial integrity.

The Chinese side also stressed its support for Afghanistan to chart its own course for development.

China is playing its part in Afghanistan’s reconstruction. The Foreign Minister said that his country would continue to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Islamic Emirate spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid who is accompanying the delegation said that China provided $1 million to Afghanistan and has promised to provide $5 million more in humanitarian aid, especially medicine and food.

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John Kerry and Imran Khan discuss Afghanistan on sidelines of MGI summit



(Last Updated On: October 26, 2021)

The United States’ Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, spoke with Prime Minister Imran Khan in Riyadh yesterday on the sidelines of the “Middle East Green Initiative (MGI)” Summit.

In the regional context, the Imran Khan underscored the importance of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan for Pakistan and the region.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister stressed the need for the international community to work pragmatically to preserve peace and security, avert a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, and prevent an economic collapse.

Imran Khan also underscored the need for positive engagement and release of Afghanistan’s economic resources and financial assets for the welfare of the Afghan people.

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