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Resolute Support Mission effectively ends May 1: Pentagon



(Last Updated On: April 29, 2021)

Pentagon spokesman John F. Kirby said this week the US mission in Afghanistan, known as Resolute Support Mission (RS), effectively ends on May 1 when the United States and NATO formally enter the “mission to draw down”.

Kirby said the mission shifts on Saturday – May 1 – to become one of a drawdown.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Kirby said “it’s no longer about advise-assist for Afghan National Security Forces, and it’s …it’s no longer the Resolute Support mission under the NATO hat. It becomes the — the mission to draw down, to leave Afghanistan, and the — the assets at General Miller’s disposal will be designed to help him execute this drawdown in a safe and orderly way.”

Kirby said “May 1st is just around the corner, so they’re working hard at the final preparations to — to execute that new mission on May 1st.”

He also stated that it “would be irresponsible” for the US not to expect an attack by the Taliban during the exit process. “And that is why you are seeing additional force protection assets being flown — flowed into the region. We already talked about the carrier. We talked about the bombers yesterday. And as I said yesterday, there’s certainly, without getting into details, the likelihood that, you know, some additional ground force elements, too, could be introduced into Afghanistan to help us with a safe and orderly drawdown.

Kirby stated that Miller’s main function, come May 1, will be to draw down all U.S. military personnel and contractors that are serving in Afghanistan and do so in a safe and orderly way.

“After that, our relationship with Afghan National Security Forces transitions to one of support from outside the country, and we talked about that largely being through financial means,” he said.

But he noted the Afghan government still needs support from US contractors, particularly for aviation maintenance. He said: “we’re working our way through that.”

Kirby also noted that the Pentagon has ensured Miller has options available to “make sure he can keep our troops and those of our allies safe as they — as they come out.”

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IEA says girls’ schools will reopen soon



(Last Updated On: May 16, 2022)

Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), and deputy minister of the IEA’s Ministry of Information and Culture, said progress has been made at a meeting of religious scholars and girls’ schools would reopen soon.

Speaking to reporters in Kabul on Sunday Mujahid said: “Good progress has been made at the meeting of the country’s scholars regarding the reopening of girls’ schools and other major political issues, and girls’ schools will be reopened in the near future.”

He said that the meeting, attended by tribal leaders and influential people of the country, is focusing on major political, security and social issues.

“The Ulema are consulting on the reopening of girls’ schools, and progress will be made soon,” said Mujahid.

Meanwhile, Anas Haqqani, a senior member of the Islamic Emirate, said on Wednesday that a meeting of religious scholars would be held to discuss the issue of girls going to school.

The closure of girls’ schools above the sixth grade sparked a major outcry around the world with the international community repeatedly calling for schools to reopen.

Officials at the Ministry of Education of the Islamic Emirate have said that they will reopen girls’ schools in the near future within the framework of Islamic principles.

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Uzbekistan to host international conference on Afghanistan



(Last Updated On: May 16, 2022)

Tashkent will host a high-level international conference on Afghanistan at the end of July, Uzbekistan’s interim Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Norov announced.

Norov said the key focus would be on security, political stability and the socio-economic development of the region.

“As for Afghanistan, unfortunately, we are seeing a decrease in the attention of the international community to the situation in this country. Meanwhile, the situation there remains difficult, due to the acute economic crisis and the difficult humanitarian situation, challenges to regional security and stability remain,” he said.

Tashkent Times reported that Norov felt the international community should take responsibility for the present and future of Afghanistan and provide continued assistance to resolve problems in the country.

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IEA says it is open to considering advice from its neighbors



(Last Updated On: May 15, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) has urged the country’s neighbors to engage in bilateral talks with them in order to resolve common problems in a more coordinated way.

A spokesman for the Islamic Emirate, Zabiullah Mujahid, said that domestic issues concern Afghans but countries concerned with Afghanistan’s political structure can advise the IEA, which will consider suggestions.

However, he said that Afghans know best what is suited to them in terms of the formation of their government.

“We will not allow anyone to pose a threat to neighbors or other countries from Afghanistan. We are serious and committed in this,” said Mujahid.

“Another issue is that some countries have certain recommendations on the formation of government and its composition. We heard those which were in the form of advice and we will consider it.

“But we reiterate that Afghans know well who should be involved and how the government should be,” he said.

Political analysts, however, see Afghanistan’s engagement with its neighbors as a necessity to achieve global legitimacy.

It has been nine months since the Islamic Emirate came into power, but countries, especially Afghanistan’s neighbors, still have unilateral demands, critics have said.

IEA officials have made it clear that the new Afghan government attaches great importance to relations with its neighbors. In line with this, the IEA has called on neighboring countries to work at expanding relations with Kabul so that problems can be addressed jointly.

The formation of an inclusive government is one of the key conditions for the international community to recognize the ruling government of Afghanistan.

According to experts, so far the government has not been able to satisfy the international community and countries in the region.

Some religious scholars have said that the establishment of bilateral economic and diplomatic relations with countries is a basic need for the Islamic Emirate.

Although no country has officially stated that it recognizes the Islamic Emirate, Afghanistan has political representatives in Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Russia, Uzbekistan and China.

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