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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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Acting FM Muttaqi leaves for Turkmenistan

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(Last Updated On: February 25, 2024)

Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Amir Khan Muttaqi has left for Turkmenistan for talks with officials of the neighboring country, it was announced Sunday.

Hafiz Zia Ahmad, Deputy Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on his X that Muttaqi, leading a delegation, traveled to Turkmenistan at the invitation of Rashid Murdov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, to discuss bilateral issues.

The delegation includes also officials of the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, Railway Authority and Da Afghanistan Brehshna Sherkat.

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China regrets UN Doha meeting’s failure to have dialogue with IEA

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(Last Updated On: February 24, 2024)

China’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Yue Xiaoyong, on Saturday regretted that the United Nations’ meeting in Doha on Afghanistan earlier this week failed to have dialogue with the Islamic Emirate.

Yue said on X that the meeting was useful for exchange of views and it made a call for more pragmatic engagement and dialogue with Afghanistan.

“Pity is Doha Afghanistan meeting again failed to have dialogu with Afghan interim government or DFA (IEA) as China and regional countries have been calling,” Yue said.

The envoy said that China called more humanitarian assistance, moderate governance, and women and girls’ education.

China also called on US take major responsibility for Afghanistan’s reconstruction, unfreeze Afghanistan’s overseas assets and lift unilateral sanctions.

China also stressed that it is ready to work harder with UN and regional partners especially through Afghanistan’s nonboring countries foreign ministerial meeting and other platforms to enhance engagement with Afghanistan to help for its peace, stability, reconstruction and common prosperity.

The UN had extended an invitation for IEA officials to participate, following their exclusion from the first meeting in May.

However, the Kabul government said they would not participate in the talks unless they could be the sole representative of Afghanistan at the meetings — to the exclusion of civil society groups.

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Latest World Bank decision will support millions of Afghans: IRC

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(Last Updated On: February 24, 2024)

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has welcomed the latest move by the World Bank to use International Development Association (IDA) funds to scale up support to Afghanistan and expand the scope of its programs, saying these funds will support the delivery of services and access to jobs for Afghans who are continuing to endure a major humanitarian crisis as a result of decades of conflict, climate change and economic turmoil. 

IRC in a statement said that the focus of Approach 3.0 of the World Bank includes the delivery of livelihoods support which will support Afghanistan to at least maintain the current trajectory of low-level economic growth.

“This will be critical to maintaining and stabilizing the Afghan economy, while ensuring the survival of businesses and sources of income for millions. However, Afghanistan’s economic crisis remains the primary driver of the high level of humanitarian needs across the country,” the statement said.

IRC stated that although the announcement of Approach 3.0 represents a new milestone for meeting basic needs in Afghanistan, IRC urges other donors to recognise their role in continuing to contribute to both the delivery of basic services through the World Bank’s Afghanistan Resilience Trust Fund (ARTF) and to the humanitarian response.

All contributions are vital to sustaining support for Afghans, and the international community must continue to provide funding to sustain basic services and prevent the humanitarian crisis from worsening, it added.

A week ago, the World Bank Group announced that its executive board endorsed a new approach to aiding Afghanistan that will deploy some $300 million from the bank’s International Development Association fund for poor countries through United Nations agencies and other international organizations.

The shift marks the first time that the World Bank’s own funds would be sent to Afghanistan since the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) seized power in August 2021.

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