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United Nations ready to mediate the Afghan peace process

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(Last Updated On: March 13, 2021)

The United Nations has announced that it was ready to participate in the mediation of the Afghan peace process.

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General stated in his daily briefing on Friday that the UN stands “ready to uh to assist the parties as requested our role must and will always be in support of the Afghan people must be agreeable to the parties in the conflict,”

The UN official’s comments come after the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said in a letter to the Afghan leaders that a meeting facilitated by the UN will be hosted in Turkey to discuss the Afghan peace process.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, meanwhile, said Friday that Turkey is ready to host an Afghan peace conference in Istanbul in April.

Stéphane Dujarric stated: “The secretary-general and others have been in touch with the Americans, the Russians, and the Qataris and the Turks and many other parties.”

“There is a positive momentum from the international community in terms of coordination and moving forward on helping the afghan parties find peace for the sake of the people of Afghanistan,” Dujarric said.

We are continuing our discussions and we will do whatever we can to support and do what is requested of us within the framework I have already spoken about,” Dujarric added.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a phone conversation with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday to discuss Afghanistan.

“On Afghanistan, Secretary Blinken thanked Secretary-General Guterres for his commitment to helping advance talks on a just and durable political settlement and permanent and comprehensive ceasefire,” US State Department said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Russia has also planned to hold a conference on the Afghan peace process in Moscow on March 18.

Russian Special for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said last week that Russia had invited the United States, China, Pakistan, representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban group (outlawed in Russia), as well as Afghan political figures, to Moscow for consultations on a peaceful settlement in Afghanistan.

Kabulove stated that all participants have confirmed to attend the peace summit.

Russian FM Sergey Lavrov regarding the conference stated: “We are genuinely interested in bringing an end to the Afghan tragedy as soon as possible.”

“We are not competing with Qatar or any other country in this regard. We have not adopted a stance that could become a bone of contention. As you are aware, before the Doha process, there was the Istanbul process and the Moscow format, and no one ever thought of reproaching our Qatari friends for stealing the show,” Lavrov said.

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IEA delegation due in Norway for humanitarian talks

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(Last Updated On: January 21, 2022)

Representatives of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) will arrive in Norway on Sunday for three days of talks on how to alleviate a humanitarian crisis, the Norwegian foreign ministry said on Friday, Reuters reported.

“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.

“We cannot allow the political situation to lead to an even worse humanitarian disaster,” she said.

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, Reuters reported.

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

“Meetings will also take place between the Taliban [IEA] delegation and other Afghans with backgrounds from a range of fields. These include women leaders, journalists, and individuals working to safeguard human rights and address humanitarian, economic, social and political issues,” Norway said.

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IEA says EU reopens embassy in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: January 21, 2022)

Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) on Thursday, announced that European Union officially reopened its diplomatic office in Kabul.

Spokesman of the Ministry Abdul Qahar Balkhi on the Twitter post said that the EU’s diplomatic office has officially resumed its operations in Afghanistan.

“Following consecutive meetings and reaching an understanding with EU representatives, the European Union officially opened its embassy with a permanent presence in Kabul and practically commenced operations.” Balkhi tweeted.

Meanwhile, Abdul Qahar Balkhi said that the EU announced 268 million euro additional assistance apart from the 220 million euro humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.

He added that a portion of the money will be used for teachers and their salaries which he welcomed.

The reopening of the embassy comes as the IEA is yet to be recognized by any country but a number of countries have started consular services in the country.

This comes after Afghanistan’s caretaker government on Wednesday called on the international community to formally recognize the IEA administration which is governing the country after toppling the U.S.-installed government last year.

Mullah Hassan Akhund, acting prime minister of the caretaker government, made the statement at an economic conference in Kabul, which convened IEA officials, some countries’ representatives and UN envoys.

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Turkey, Qatar reached preliminary deal on Kabul airport security

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(Last Updated On: January 21, 2022)

Turkey and Qatar have reached agreement on ensuring security at Kabul’s main airport should they be awarded the mission amid ongoing talks with the Islamic Emirate (IE) government, Turkish diplomatic sources said on Thursday, Reuters reported.

Kabul’s international airport is landlocked Afghanistan’s main air link to the world. Following the August takeover of Afghanistan by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), Turkey has said it would be open to operating it with Qatar but only if its security demands are met.

Reuters has reported that the United Arab Emirates also held talks with the Taliban to keep the airport operational.

The sources told reporters on Thursday that Ankara and Doha had agreed on a security framework for the airport mission, but added talks continued on other aspects such as financing.

“It is expected for the Taliban [Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan] to ensure security outside, and for whoever runs the airport to ensure it inside,” one of the sources said. “The process is continuing constructively,” the person said on condition of anonymity.

They added that a delegation of Turkish and Qatari officials were holding talks on the issue in Kabul this week, Reuters reported.

Qatar’s state news agency said the IEA government will be in Doha next week to complete discussions with Qatar and Turkey over the operation and management of the airport.

It added that delegations from Qatar and Turkey have held two days of “intense negotiations” in Kabul this week over control of the airport.

Qatar – which helped run the airport along with Turkey after playing a major role in evacuation efforts following the chaotic U.S. withdrawal in August – say that Ankara, Doha, and the IEA have agreed that discussions are going to be completed next week.

Qatar’s role at the Kabul airport has ensured that flights have operated between Doha and Kabul since September, allowing Qatar to become a hub for countries to maintain links to Afghanistan and to meet the IEA government. The United States, United Kingdom, Canada and several other countries have moved their Afghanistan embassies to Qatar, Reuters reported.

On Wednesday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey was sending 700 tonnes of emergency aid and supplies to Afghanistan, without providing a date.

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