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US Bargaining on Troop Levels in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: February 20, 2017)

mattis_3850_c0-0-720-419_s885x516US Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis said he plans to make decisions soon to President Donald Trump on whether to increase the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and whether the totals should be based on military requirements rather than pre-set limits.

Mattis said he will collect his thoughts and then send recommendations to the White House.

“On the situation in Afghanistan right now again my point in talking to president Ghani and talking to our field commander, NATO field commander is the political and military appreciation to the situation. We are putting our thoughts together now, the president is waiting for my assessment  and the assessment from the intelligence community and he is open to my advice on it,” US Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis said.

Mattis met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Munich on February 18.

He was scheduled to fly to Kabul on February 19, but bad weather forced him to postpone the trip.

Mattis noted he needs to “assess what the other countries in the region are doing in Afghanistan to help or hinder us in our efforts.

“First of all I’ve got to formulate where I stand, so this is the normal collection of the information and to assess what the other countries in the region are doing in Afghanistan to help our efforts there. we are still sorting that out. We all want to see everything moving smoothly. this is the best form of the government that we can come up with, so the military job is to hold the line  and hold the line and to hold the line, while our government source out the way ahead,” Mattis added.

This comes as UK defense minister has also said that more British forces are needed to prevent Afghanistan collapse.

“First, there is transnational terrorist groups are still in Afghanistan and they still pose a threat. Second if this country collapses, we here will feel the consequences, very directly, it could be three or four million young Afghan man sent out by their villages to Germany or Britain. Thirdly there are NATO values here. this was a democracy that we help to establish, seven million people voted in elections for a new future for a new Afghanistan. voted to choose a government to get out of a fragile that is at the moment. that government has asked us for help and my view is we should stay with it until as long as we can until our job is done,” said UK defense minister.

Meanwhile, the Afghan government also supports the increase number of foreign troops in Afghanistan for training, advising and consulting Afghans.

“Cooperation of the global forces with Afghan security forces is a serious need. We support the number of foreign troops level increase and we demand the world to stay in Afghanistan until the end of their mission,” said Jawid Faisal, deputy spokesman of Executive Office.

Previously, US president Donald Trump in his telephone contact with President Ghani has announced about the increase of troop levels in Afghanistan.

Edited by Zack Arya

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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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