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25,000 Refugees died in eight years while crossing Meditteranean, says Erdogan

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(Last Updated On: June 22, 2020)

An estimated 25,000 people, mostly women, and children have died while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea over the past eight years, Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday.

Addressing the closing ceremony of the International Migration Film Festival, via a video call, Erdogan said: “In the past eight years, 25,000 people, most of them women and children, died in the treacherous waters of Mediterranean.”

Anadolu Agency reported that Erdogan not only highlighted the grave situation that refugees face while trying to cross the Meditteranean but he also called on people to set aside their prejudices about migrants and to note the contributions these people bring to countries and societies.

During his video call, Erdogan stated that the migrants who had died while trying to cross the Meditteranean were people who had set out with a hope for a safe future, however, many of the journeys ended in death.

“Fate of some 10,000 Syrian children who sought asylum in Europe is unknown,” Anadolu Agency reported Erdogan as having said.

Erdogan said migration was a global issue and millions of people have left their homes due to war, terror, and poverty.

“Today there are nearly 260 million migrants in the world, as well as over 71 million displaced and over 25 million refugees,” he said.

Turkey continues to host the largest number of refugees worldwide.

Currently, it hosts 3.6 million registered Syrian refugees plus 330,000 people of other nationalities.

In a bid to highlight the problem, the International Migration Film Festival is supported by Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Ministry and organized by the Interior Ministry under the auspices of the Turkish Presidency.

The film festival features films and documentaries that capture the promise and challenges of migration, and the unique contributions that migrants make to their new communities and the goal of the festival is to pave the way for greater discussion around the issue.

This year’s Best Full-Length Film award meanwhile was won on Sunday by directors Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts for the movie “For Sama”.

Celebrated Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan, this year’s festival jury president, said that “For Sama” was selected unanimously for the award.

The film focuses on Al-Kateab’s journey during the Syrian civil war as she and her husband, a doctor in Aleppo, raise their daughter Sama. They eventually have to decide on whether to stay to help others or flee to safety themselves.

“For Sama” made history when it was nominated in four categories in the BAFTA awards, making it the most nominated documentary ever. It was also nominated for Best Documentary Feature at last year’s Academy Awards.

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Continued enforcement of travel ban on senior IEA officials is ‘unjust’

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) describes the international community’s continued travel ban against senior officials as “a cruel and unjust act”.

Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman of the IEA, says the problems in the country are the result of unfair sanctions imposed by the United States and the international community against the new government of Afghanistan and emphasized that if the world intends to interact with the Islamic Emirate, it should lift all sanctions.

Three months ago, an exemption on the travel ban against 13 senior IEA officials ended, however, the UN Security Council has still not extended it. This has prevented the officials from leaving the country.

“Political isolation had no results before, and it will not have any results now; the Afghan people and us want good relations with countries based on mutual respect,” said Karimi.

When the travel ban exemption expired, the UN Security Council held two meetings in order to decide on whether to continue with the exemption but security council members failed to reach a decision at either of the meetings.

The international community has stood by calls for the formation of an inclusive government, the upholding of human rights and the removal of terrorist threats from Afghanistan as its basic conditions for the recognition of the Islamic Emirate and the end of sanctions.

The Islamic Emirate, however, emphasizes that it has met all conditions for recognition.

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Hamid Karzai left country out of necessity: IEA

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2022)

Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai left the country out of necessity, deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), said on Sunday.

Karzai left on Saturday for the United Arab Emirates on his first trip out of the country since the IEA takeover in August last year.

“A necessity was created for him and he left,” Bilal Karimi said.

Karzai is expected to travel to Germany from the UAE. Omar Zakhilwal, a former finance minister, who accompanied him on the flight to the UAE said they will soon return to Afghanistan.
Karzai left the country on the same day Defense Minister Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid headed to the UAE. IEA says the trips are not connected.

Experts meanwhile say allowing Karzai to travel abroad increases the level of trust between politicians and the IEA.

Karzai was among only a few former senior government officials who remained in the country after the IEA takeover.

While Abdullah Abdullah, former reconciliation council chief, has had couple of foreign trips, Karzai was reportedly facing travel restrictions.

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Six injured in Saturday’s blast in Jalalabad city

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2022)

Local officials have confirmed that six people were wounded in an explosion on Saturday in Nangarhar’s Jalalabad city.

This is in addition to the major losses to shops in the area that sustained serious damage.

One of the damaged shops was that of Gul Charan – the city’s only Sikh resident.

According to local officials, the incident is being investigated. The blast reportedly occurred in District 1, in Jalalabad city.

The security officials of Jalalabad meanwhile say the explosion was caused by an IED embedded in a flowerpot.

The residents of the city have called on the Islamic Emirate to prevent such events in the future.

So far, no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the explosion.

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