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Afghan delegation leaves Kabul for talks with Taliban in Doha

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(Last Updated On: July 16, 2021)

A delegation led by Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, on Friday afternoon left Kabul for Doha, the capital of Qatar, to hold talks with the Taliban as the militants’ offensives dramatically increased across Afghanistan.

The delegation includes Former Vice President Mohammad Karim Khalili; Head of the splinter faction of the Jamiat-e-Islami Party Ata Mohammad Noor; Islamic Republic Chief Negotiator Masoom Stanekzai; President Ghani’s Adviser Salam Rahimi; State Minister for Peace Affairs Sadat Mansoor Naderi; Bator Dostum and Fatima Gailani members of peace negotiating team.

However, the agenda of the talks is not clear so far. Abdullah noted that the Afghan team has fully authoritative and that a ceasefire is a priority in the talks with the Taliban delegation.

“On behalf of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, an inclusive delegation is leaving for Qatar, a number of esteemed members of the delegation are currently in Qatar and some are going with us. I thank the support that resulted from a political consensus on the deployment of this delegation. This delegation represents the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” Abdullah said.

“The people of Afghanistan in different parts of the country are suffering from the tragedy of continuing the war. Today, war is raging in several provinces of Afghanistan. But your question will be, ‘when the war is going on, why are you talking about peace’, yes, because the war is going on intensively, and this war has been going on for 42 years in our country and hundreds of thousands of our people sacrificed their lives, so then we must work for providing peace.”

He added: “God willing, we hope that the Taliban side will see this as an opportunity and know that there will be no peace with continues or capturing of a district or areas. The result of peace can only be achieved from the negotiating table, despite all the pain that our people are suffering today, and there is pressure to focus on war, we still believe that there is still a chance for a peace that should be acceptable to all.”

Former president Hamid Karzai, who accompanied the delegation until the Kabul airport, stated that he fully supports the Afghan team.

Sources, meanwhile, told Ariana News that Karzai is expected to visit Islamabad to meet with Pakistani officials on Saturday.

Taliban stated that a delegation, led by the head of Taliban’s political wing Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, will negotiate with the Afghan team in Doha.

The development comes a day after US State Department spokesman Ned Price said that Washington continues to believe the only solution to Afghanistan’s problem is a political settlement and in line with this the Afghan government is sending a senior delegation to Doha.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Price stated: “We have been very clear about this, that we continue to believe the Islamic Republic – that is to say, the Afghan Government continues to believe that diplomacy is the only durable and just way to reach a political settlement here.

“I won’t speak for the Taliban, but they continue to engage in that diplomacy in Doha. The Islamic Republic, the Afghan Government is sending a senior delegation to Doha. The special envoy (Zalmay Khalilzad) and his team are engaged, supporting these intra-Afghan discussions in Doha,” Price said.

“We continue to believe – and the international community continues to believe, including if you look at recent statements from some of our closest allies, but also from countries with whom we share little else – that this diplomatic path is the most effective, and certainly the best path to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan.”

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Otunbayeva meets acting head of TVET in Kabul

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(Last Updated On: February 6, 2023)

The head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) emphasized the need for the inclusion of women and girls in vocational education on Monday in a meeting with Ghulam Haider Shahamat, acting head of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

In this meeting, Roza Otunbayeva said that vocational training is necessary for the economic development of Afghanistan and women and girls should be included.

Shahamat also expressed that technical and vocational education is effective for poverty alleviation and the growth of the country’s economy.

“The Technical Vocational Education and Training has 383 institutes and high schools all over Afghanistan, which operate in 250 districts and have 6850 staff,” said Shahamat.

Meanwhile, some experts say that Afghanistan needs to develop and create job opportunities for everyone, especially women and girls, and all international institutions play a constructive role for Afghanistan’s progress.

“All organizations which work under the framework of the United Nations can have positive roles in Afghanistan,” said Sarah Rahmani, women rights activist.

In this meeting, the head of the United Nations Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) was also present and emphasized on signing an agreement and creating a joint working group between both institutions.

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Afghanistan’s central bank to auction $17 million this week

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(Last Updated On: February 6, 2023)

Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) has announced that it will auction $17 million on Wednesday as part of the efforts to stabilize the value of the Afghan currency against foreign currencies.

In a series of tweets on Monday, the Central Bank of Afghanistan asked qualified private banks and exchange companies to participate in the auction.

The winners of the auction are obliged to settle their accounts by the end of the day. As per the announcement, partial settlement of transactions is not allowed and the winners of the auction are obliged to transfer the payable amount to the central bank in cash within a certain time.

This is the second time in a week the central bank is auctioning US dollars to keep the value of Afghani stable.

The exchange rate was 90 AFN to the US dollar on Monday, February 6, 2023. The central bank sold $16 million on Sunday.

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Russia has no plans to close its embassy in Afghanistan, says envoy

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(Last Updated On: February 6, 2023)

Russia has no plans to close its diplomatic mission in Kabul, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second Asian Department Zamir Kabulov told TASS on Monday.

Earlier, the Al-Arabiya TV channel reported that the authorities of several Arab and Western countries decided to close their diplomatic missions in Kabul because of security threats.

“Such thoughts have not even occurred,” Kabulov said, when asked whether Russia had such plans.

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