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Afghan govt to present single plan at Istanbul Summit: Saleh

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(Last Updated On: April 8, 2021)

First Vice President Amrullah Saleh has confirmed the Afghan Republic will present a single plan at the US-proposed Istanbul Summit which is scheduled for later this month and that the plan includes the suggestion of early elections.

Speaking to BBC, Saleh said the Republic’s plan, which includes early elections, stipulates that incumbent president Ashraf Ghani will not run for presidency.

Saleh said the Afghan government also wants regional and international guarantees for peace and assurances that no deals are made that gives one group all the power.

Saleh said the Republic’s peace plan is comprehensive.

“One of the reasons this plan will be unified is because the president has made it clear that he wants early elections and that he and his deputies will not be [electoral] candidates,” said Saleh.

However, the Republic’s plan sets out conditional resignations. The plan reportedly states that Ghani and his two vice presidents will not hand over power to a transitional government headed by an unelected president.

“We want a global guarantee, because the world owes Afghanistan, we are not asking for charity, this should be very clear, the deal that is being done, does not mean that a group enters from a window for conquest, coup and killing, these are the important points of this peace [plan],” Saleh said.

Meanwhile, the Turkish ambassador to NATO says the Doha talks need to be wrapped up at the Istanbul Summit and all Afghan leaders must agree on a political solution.

“All Afghan leaders are expected to be invited, as well as all important international and regional players, the United Nations, Qatar, Turkey, and the United States. We expect this meeting to complete the Doha talks. This is part of the peace process. All Afghan leaders must agree on a political solution,” said Turkey’s permanent representative to NATO Basat Öztürk.

Meanwhile, International Human Rights Watch has called for the full participation of Afghan women at the Istanbul Summit.

The organization says the UN, as the host of the Istanbul Summit, must ensure that women take part in the main negotiations and that women do not only engage in discussions on the sidelines.

The Istanbul Summit is expected to take place on April 16, in just eight days, and is expected to shape Afghanistan’s future political landscape.

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UN deputy chief hopeful the IEA will lift restrictions on women

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(Last Updated On: January 28, 2023)

Amina Mohammad, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, has said that after meeting with some Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) officials she is hopeful that authorities could ease restrictions on women and girls.

In an interview with CNN, Mohammad, who visited Afghanistan earlier this month, was asked if she had any hope about IEA lifting restrictions on women and girls.

She replied: “Yes, I do. It was tough going in. But I feel now it is doable, looking at all the players and seeing some fissures within the Taliban (IEA), I think this is possible. We also had a few exceptions since then. So, yes there is hope.”

Amina said that there are differences of opinions within IEA in terms of carrying of edicts coming from Kandahar.

“I don’t think there is any change from their consolidation around that power base, but there is, in terms of carrying out some of these edicts, differences of opinions,” she said.

“I think in our visit, the recognition mattered. It was very clear that the humanitarian response that the international community was giving was really important. So we have some leverage and I think that is what we are trying to see, what is state of play in reality on ground,” Amina said.

Sima Bahous, the executive director of UN Women, said that when she asked IEA officials about the “further notice” in their decrees, they replied: “We need to build infrastructure, we need to build schools, we need to train the teachers, we need to change the curriculum for it to become less Western or actually not Western at all but Islamic and according to Sharia of what they believe they should learn.

“They believe women should only learn certain things about the Sharia and how to serve their husbands, families and their little community where they live,” she said.

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IEA welcomes World Bank report, urges resumption of incomplete projects

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(Last Updated On: January 28, 2023)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) on Saturday welcomed the World Bank’s report issued this week and in turn called on the institution to resume incomplete projects that it had been working on in the country prior to the collapse of the former government.

The Office of Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs said in a statement that it welcomes all the “positive points based on objective facts” in the report, which was a clear indication of Afghanistan’s actual economic development and mobility.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan believes that if the current restrictions on Afghanistan’s banking sector are lifted and the frozen assets are released, the economic situation of the country will take faster steps towards improvement and stability, and the burden on the international community will be lessened,” the statement read.

Earlier this week the World Bank reported that the price of food and fuel in Afghanistan has decreased, the value of the Afghan currency has remained stable against foreign currencies, there has been a significant increase in exports, and the salaries of government employees have been paid on time. In addition, the report noted that national revenues had also increased.

The IEA also called on all international organizations to raise awareness of the real situation in Afghanistan by pointing out the advancements made in Afghanistan, particularly in the economic sphere.

The statement called on international aid agencies and organizations to finance development initiatives in Afghanistan that will lower unemployment and improve the country’s economic situation.

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No evidence Russia turning to IEA for arms: White House

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(Last Updated On: January 28, 2023)

The White House said on Friday it has no evidence to support reports claiming that Moscow has asked the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) to provide them with arms left behind by foreign forces in the country.

John Kirby, coordinator for strategic communications for the US National Security Council told VOA that he can’t confirm the reports but “if it’s true, it certainly would fly in the face of what the Taliban (IEA) say their goals are,” he added, pointing to the IEA’s desire to be recognized internationally as the legitimate government in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon said in a report last year that the US left behind more than $7 billion worth of American military equipment.

This includes aircraft, vehicles, munitions, guns, communication equipment and other gear.

“We don’t have any indication of exactly where all those systems are, how they’re being used,” Kirby said. “Certainly, we don’t have any indications that the Taliban is willing to export them.”

IEA denies that it is providing Russia with weapons.

“This report is a lie,” Zia Ahmad Takal, deputy spokesman for the IEA’s foreign ministry, told VOA.

This comes after Russia recently turned to other nations, including Iran and North Korea, to help provide it with military hardware – almost a year into its invasion of Ukraine.

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