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U.S. Calls on Taliban to Take Afghan Gov’t Peace Proposal ‘Seriously’

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(Last Updated On: March 6, 2018)

The United States has called on the Taliban to give “serious” consideration to an offer for peace talks extended by the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Kabul Process II conference last week.

The U.S. principal deputy assistant secretary of state in charge of South and Central Asian affairs, Alice Wells told reporters in Washington on Monday that the Afghan government is not demanding “surrender” by the Taliban as the group’s spokesman has said.

“I think it probably caught the Taliban by surprise with how thoughtful and comprehensive the package that President Ghani was putting forward,” Ms. Wells said. “This is not a surrender that’s being offered to the Taliban.”

‘Ghani’s offer included a cease-fire and prisoner swap, passports for Taliban representatives and their families, Taliban’s participation in elections, a review of the constitution and recognizing the group has legitimate political force.

But the Taliban has continued to reject direct peace talks with the Afghan government and has insisted that the group will not join talks until all foreign forces have left the country.

Wells said Ghani’s offer showed the Afghan government has “listened carefully” to the Taliban and is being responsive to a number of the militants’ requests.

Ghani’s offer was “quite forward-leaning, and frankly I think probably caught the Taliban by surprise,” Wells said. “This was quite a courageous offer.”

“We certainly encourage the Taliban to take this offer seriously. It does put the onus on the Taliban to respond,” she said.

Wells said the United States supports an Afghan peace conference scheduled for late March in Tashkent, which she said came out of a meeting between Ghani and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev in December.

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IEA wraps up first day of talks with Norwegian authorities

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(Last Updated On: January 24, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) said on Monday members of their delegation, led by acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, to Norway met with Norwegian officials on Sunday and discussed issues related to the current situation in the country.

According to a statement issued by the (IEA), “a one-day joint meeting was held between officials of the acting Afghan government and a number of personalities in Oslo, the capital of the Kingdom of Norway”.

“During the meeting, the participants listened patiently to each others’ opinions and exchanged views on the current situation in the country.

“They affirmed that Afghanistan is the shared home of all Afghans, and stressed that all Afghans need to work together for the political, economic and security prosperity of the country.

 “The participants of the meeting recognized that understanding and joint cooperation are the only solutions to all the problems of Afghanistan,” read the statement.

The IEA also said all participants declared such meetings to be in the interest of the country.

Speaking at the end of the first day of talks, IEA delegate Shafiullah Azam told The Associated Press that the meetings with Western officials were “a step to legitimize (the) Afghan government,” adding that “this type of invitation and communication will help (the) European community, (the) U.S. or many other countries to erase the wrong picture of the Afghan government.”

Norway’s Foreign Ministry meanwhile said in a statement last week that Afghan representatives have been invited to Oslo from  23-25 January to meet Norwegian authorities, the international community, and other Afghans.

The statement noted that the meetings do not represent a legitimization or recognition of the IEA “but the de facto authorities must be talked with so that we prevent political situation leading to a worse humanitarian disaster”.

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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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