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NATO Reaffirms Commitments to Support Afghan Forces

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(Last Updated On: February 16, 2017)

139411221502418727098554NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance remains firmly committed to its resolute support mission in Afghanistan.

During a pre-ministerial press conference ahead of the two-day NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels, Stoltenberg reaffirmed commitments to train, advice and assist Afghan forces in their bid to curb the Taliban.

“We are firmly committed to our Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan and the heads of state and government made last year a decision to continue our military presence in Afghanistan, to continue to provide funding for the Afghan National Army and Security Forces and to develop the political partnership with Afghanistan,” said NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg.

  Stoltenberg further added that the foreign troops in Afghanistan will not allow the country again become a safe haven for terrorist groups.

“There are many different international terrorist groups today in Afghanistan and that is the reason why we have decided to continue to stay in Afghanistan with 13,000 troops,” he said. He adding that “best weapon they had in the fight against terrorism was to train and enable local forces to combat the scourge.”

He also noted, “Thanks to this support from NATO and NATO partners over a long period of years we have been able to build up a national army and security forces which is now responsible for security in Afghanistan themselves.

He said, “And I think if there’s any lesson learned from Afghanistan we should perhaps have started even earlier to train the Afghans enabling them to take over responsibility for the security of Afghanistan themselves. We have ended the combat mission, what we… what NATO is doing is to train, assist and advise and I for instance met with some pilots in the Afghan Air Force and it was great to see them being trained by NATO trainers enabling them to develop their own air force.”

At least 13,000 NATO soldiers still serve in Afghanistan out of which 9,800 are deployed by the US Army. It is expected that up to 8,000 US troops will continue their mission in Afghanistan.

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Pakistan’s PM renews call for humanitarian aid for Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: January 23, 2022)

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday reiterated calls for the international community to provide urgent humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.

Khan said in a tweet that under the UN Principle of Responsibility to Protect (R2P), it was obligatory to help protect people from the mass-scale humanitarian crisis left in the wake of a prolonged conflict.

“Right now millions of Afghan people are in danger of starvation,” he said adding it was the “duty of the international community to provide humanitarian assistance.”

UN agencies have warned that more than 23 million people are at risk of starvation if aid is not provided.

Earlier this month, the UN agencies launched a call for $4.5 billion in aid for 2022, its biggest-ever international appeal. The US responded with a donation of $308 million to be channeled through independent humanitarian organizations.

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IEA delegation arrives in Norway for humanitarian talks

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(Last Updated On: January 23, 2022)

Representatives of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) arrived in Norway on Saturday (January 22) for three days of talks due to start on Sunday (January 23) on how to alleviate a humanitarian crisis.

Millions of Afghans have been plunged deeper into poverty since last year’s IEA takeover, which resulted in disruption to aid programmes and deteriorating food security.

The IEA representatives will meet Norwegian authorities as well as diplomats from several other countries from January 23 to January 25.

“These meetings do not represent a legitimisation or recognition of the Taliban [IEA]. But we must talk to the de facto authorities in the country,” Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt said in a statement.

According to the Norwegian foreign ministry, meetings will also take place between the IEA delegation and Afghan civil society members, including women leaders, journalists, and “individuals working to safeguard human rights and address humanitarian, economic, social and political issues”.

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UN chief says IEA must respect human rights in order to be recognized

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(Last Updated On: January 22, 2022)

Laying out his priorities for 2022, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Friday that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) has to respect human rights in order to obtain international recognition.

Addressing the UN General Assembly, Guterres stated that it was “absolutely essential” for the IEA “to have full respect for the rights of women and girls and to have a positive approach to human rights in general” in order to obtain international recognition and “getting international support for their own people.”

“To provide a lifeline of help for the Afghan people, inject cash to avoid an economic meltdown, ensure full respect of international humanitarian law and human rights — particularly for women and girls — and effectively fight terrorism,” he said.

UN Secretary-General spoke about global issues as well. Referring to the raging COVID-19 pandemic, a morally bankrupt global financial system, the climate crisis, lawlessness in cyberspace, and diminished peace and security, he told the General Assembly that “we face a five-alarm global fire that requires the full mobilization of all countries.”

“Now is not the time to simply list and lament challenges. Now is the time to act. All these challenges are, at heart, failures of global governance.”

On the possibility of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, Guterres said, “diplomacy is the way to solve problems. Of course, any invasion by one country to another country is against international law, and I hope that this, of course, will not happen in the present circumstances. I am convinced it will not happen. And I strongly hope to be right.”

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