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Top secret UK military documents about Afghanistan found at bus stop

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(Last Updated On: June 27, 2021)

Classified UK Ministry of Defense documents containing details about HMS Defender and the British military in Afghanistan have been found at a bus stop in Kent in the United Kingdom, the BBC reported.

According to the report, one set of documents discusses the likely Russian reaction to the ship’s passage through Ukrainian waters off the Crimea coast on Wednesday while another details plans for a possible UK military presence in Afghanistan after the US-led NATO operation ends.

The government said an investigation had been launched.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said an employee had reported the loss of sensitive defence papers, adding: “It would be inappropriate to comment further.”

BBC reported that the documents, almost 50 pages in all, were found in a rain-soaked heap behind a bus stop in Kent early on Tuesday morning.

A member of the public, who wishes to remain anonymous, contacted the BBC when he realised the sensitive nature of the contents.

The BBC believes the documents, which include emails and PowerPoint presentations, originated in the office of a senior official at the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

According to the BBC, most of the papers are marked “official sensitive”, a relatively low level of classification used, according to the government, “where there is a clear and justifiable requirement to reinforce the ‘need to know'”.

But one document, addressed to Ben Wallace’s private secretary, and marked “Secret UK Eyes Only”, outlines highly sensitive recommendations for the UK’s military footprint in Afghanistan, following the withdrawal of all foreign troops by September 11.

BBC reported the document discusses an American request for British assistance in several specific areas, and addresses the question of whether any British special forces will remain in Afghanistan once the withdrawal is complete.

Media reports have already suggested Britain is considering leaving some forces behind.

Due to the sensitivity of the document, the BBC has decided not to report details which could endanger the security of British and other personnel in Afghanistan.

“Any UK footprint in Afghanistan that persists… is assessed to be vulnerable to targeting by a complex network of actors,” it says, noting that “the option to withdraw completely remains.”

Afghanistan, it says, is already becoming more dangerous.

According to BBC, the documents stated the reduced presence of NATO forces “is already impairing the situational awareness that we (and the US) used to enjoy across the country”.

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IEA leaders meet UNDP director in Doha, asked for more help

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(Last Updated On: October 25, 2021)

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Deputy Prime Minister of Afghanistan, on Sunday met with Achim Steiner, Director of the United Nations Development Program, in Doha to discuss various issues, including the deteriorating economic situation.

Mohammad Naeem, spokesman for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA), political office said in a series of tweets that the meeting focused on the current situation in Afghanistan, the deteriorating economic situation in the country, and the treatment of drug addicts.

Mullah Baradar Akhund thanked the organization for its assistance and assured the UNDP of its cooperation in delivering aid to Afghans. He called on them to increase their assistance to the people in various fields, Naeem tweeted.

Steiner also pledged continued support to Afghans, Naeem said.

Meanwhile, according to Reuters, China’s foreign ministry said on Monday that Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi will meet an IEA delegation during his visit to Qatar later this week.

The two sides will exchange views on the situation in Afghanistan and topics of “common concern”, said foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, speaking at a regular news briefing in Beijing,

“As Afghanistan’s traditional friendly neighbor and partner, China has always advocated dialogue and contact to guide the positive development of the situation in Afghanistan,” he said, as quoted by Reuters.

In mid-August, the Afghan government collapsed as the United States and allies withdrew troops after 20 years on the ground, leading the IEA to seize power in a lightning offensive.

The month before, an IEA delegation had met Wang Yi in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin.

China has since promised aid to the neighbouring country, while demanding the IEA crack down on the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a group Beijing says threatens stability in the western region of Xinjiang.

Russia will deliver humanitarian aid to Afghanistan in the coming days, a senior Russian official said on Monday, as regional powers prepare to discuss the crisis in the country at a new round of talks next month.

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د ا.ا.ا له تور نوملړه د ا.ا د مشرانو د لرې کولو په اړه د روسیې له دریځه هرکلی کوي

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(Last Updated On: October 25, 2021)

د افغانستان بهرنیو چارو وزارت له تور نوملړه د اسلامي امارت د مشرانو نومونو د لرې کولو په اړه د روسیې د ولسمشر له څرګندونو هرکلی کړی.

د بهرنیو چارو وزارت ویاند عبدالقهار بلخي ټویټ کړی، چې نورد جګړې څپرکي پای ته رسیدلی؛ نړۍ باید له افغانستان سره په خپلو اړیکو او تعامل کې مثبت بدلون راولي.

ولادیمیر پوتین ویلي وه، چې هغه له تور نوملړه د افغانستان اسلامي امارت د مشرانو نومونو د لرې کولو په اړه غور کوي.

د بهرنیو چارو وزارت ویلي، چې افغان حکومت له نړۍ سره مثبتې اړیکې غواړي.

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EU hoping to reopen Kabul diplomatic mission within a month

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(Last Updated On: October 25, 2021)

The EU is intending to reopen its diplomatic mission in Afghanistan within a month as the bloc seeks to strengthen its engagement with the new Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan government.

The Financial Times reported that the move means that EU diplomats will return to Kabul as Brussels seeks to co-ordinate aid efforts and the continued evacuation of some Afghans.

The planned return comes as global powers attempt to work out how to deal with the country’s new leaders, FT reported.

Brussels has said it seeks a “calibrated approach” to the IEA, pursuing engagement with the administration but stopping short of recognition.

It is also responding to efforts by China, Russia and Turkey, which did not close their embassies when Afghanistan’s former government was overthrown, to build close ties with the new regime, FT reported.

Brussels sent an exploratory mission to Afghanistan last month to assess the feasibility of sending diplomats back to Kabul, aware that without a presence on the ground, it lacked the access required to effectively implement a pledged regional aid package worth about €1bn.

Over the past month Brussels has sought to strike an agreement with Kabul that would allow private security personnel or member state guards to protect the building. But it has reluctantly accepted that there is no alternative to abiding by rules that mean foreign diplomatic representations must be guarded only by IEA security forces, a source told the Financial Times.

EU spokesperson Nabila Massrali said that “a final decision has not been taken yet” on the security provision.

“We can confirm that we are working on establishing a minimal presence on the ground. For security reasons, we cannot enter into the details,” she said in a statement to the FT.

“At this stage, this would only be for the EU. Member states may decide to join, but this is at their discretion. As to whom will guarantee the security of our staff, available options are being explored.

“As we have repeatedly said, this is not a sign of recognition. We want to be able to better assist the Afghan people who need our help by being closer and, inevitably, we need to engage with the Taliban (IEA),” she added.

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