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Afghan refugees in UAE protest for third day, call for US resettlement

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(Last Updated On: February 12, 2022)

Afghan refugees held in the United Arab Emirates for months since fleeing Afghanistan last year protested for a third day on Friday, calling for resettlement in the United States.

The demonstrations by hundreds of Afghans began on Wednesday at the center where they are being housed as months of frustrations with what refugees say is a lack of communication over the resettlement process boiled over.

A protester told Reuters by phone more refugees had joined the demonstration on Friday, a day after a U.S. official visited the center and told them it could take years for applications to be processed.

The official added that many refugees, however, were unlikely to ever be resettled in the United States, according to the protester.

A U.S. State Department spokesperson confirmed several Afghans had taken part in peaceful demonstrations and that U.S. government officials had met with Afghans this week to discuss their concerns with the resettlement process.

The spokesperson said U.S. screening and vetting of vulnerable Afghans is continuing and that “safe and orderly” travel to the United States will be facilitated for those who qualify.

Among the Afghans, advocates say, are those who had worked with the U.S. government and military. There are also those who had fought in the Afghan forces before the U.S.-led withdrawal last August when the Western-backed government collapsed and the hardline Islamist movement took over the country.

Ahmad Mohibi, an advocate who has helped Afghans evacuate and who is in contact with several refugees in the UAE, said the Afghans planned to continue peaceful protests.

The refugees, he said, were appreciative of the care the UAE has provided them but were exasperated by the uncertainty over how much longer they would have to remain in what they say are prison-like conditions at the Abu Dhabi center.

The Emirati government has not commented on the protests.

The UAE agreed with Washington and other Western countries last year to temporarily house Afghan nationals evacuated from Afghanistan as they made their way to a third country.

It is unclear how many Afghans refugees are being housed in the UAE, though demonstrators and advocates estimate there are 12,000 temporarily living at two locations in Abu Dhabi.

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Afghanistan will no longer turn into battlefield for superpower nations: Muttaqi

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(Last Updated On: February 2, 2023)

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Amir Khan Muttaqi says the Islamic Emirate will “not allow Afghanistan to enter the battlefield of powerful countries again”.

At an event on Thursday at Kabul University, Muttaqi said that Afghanistan has good diplomatic relations with regional countries, and a number of Afghan embassies in the region and the world receive orders from Kabul.

“After this, we don’t want Afghanistan to be a battlefield between the superpowers. If there is a confrontation, it should be positive and economic,” said Muttaqi.

“According to the geography of Afghanistan, the Islamic Emirate is trying to make Afghanistan the center of economy and connectivity because the region is in great need of energy.”

He emphasized that Afghanistan does not have a problem with the world and that it “has been practically proven that Afghan soil is not used against any country.”

“We also call on the countries of the world that we do not have a problem with any country, the commitment made by the Islamic Emirate is that the soil of Afghanistan will not be used against any country,” he said.

He also said that the report of international organizations in reducing corruption and improving the economic situation in Afghanistan is “hopeful”.

A number of other officials of the Islamic Emirate have said that Afghanistan has been able to move towards improvement in the economic sector despite sanctions.

“In one and a half years, how has the Islamic Emirate been able to move towards improvement in the economic field despite the political and banking restrictions?” asked Deputy Minister of Economy Abdul Latif Nazari.

“You must have read the recent report of the World Bank that Afghanistan’s exports have broken an unprecedented record.”

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Foreign Ministry condemns US move to impose further travel restrictions on some IEA leaders

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(Last Updated On: February 2, 2023)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) considers the recent statement by the US State Department on additional visa restrictions on some leaders of the Islamic Emirate as an obstacle to the development of ties between the two sides.

According to a statement published on Thursday, the foreign ministry said that the IEA as a responsible government, is committed to all rights of Afghans which are necessitated by the Islamic religion.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reminds the United States that despite the financial and banking sanctions, the Afghan government strives to provide its people with a prosperous life,” the statement read.

“The continuation of illegitimate sanctions on the financial and banking system of Afghanistan is a flagrant violation of the human rights of Afghans, restricting access of Afghans to many spheres of a prosperous life, including education and health.”

The ministry also said that the US “must remain committed to the Doha Agreement” and through implementation, demonstrate that legal documents and agreements signed with the US are trustworthy, adding that the ministry is ready to discuss all outstanding issues with the US.

According to MoFA, the IEA condemns the recent decision of the US and underscores that the disputes should be resolved via diplomatic channels and positive steps.
“Our biliteral interactions have proven that pressure is not helpful in resolving issues,” the statement read.

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Our Afghan policy has failed: Pakistani senator

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(Last Updated On: February 2, 2023)

Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed on Tuesday said “our Afghan Policy has failed”, local media outlet ARY News reported.

Addressing the Senate earlier this week, Mushaid Hussain said that “failing to formulate the counter-terrorism policy is our incapacity”.

“We are in the state of war since last 43 years,” he said. “Five-billion-dollar Afghan Jihad fought, the consequences are before us,” he said.

“The battle for power will devastate Pakistan. People want a solution of the problems, an incompetence will not be allowed”, he said.

Former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani had earlier said that a joint session of Parliament scheduled for February 8 should include a discussion on the country’s national anti-terrorism policy.

“Terrorism has been on the rise, while the political parties are busy in the political tug of war,” he lamented. “All political parties should sit in the parliament to hold a national dialogue,” he advised.

Islamabad has increasingly been pointing fingers at Afghanistan accusing the Islamic Emirate of providing sanctuary to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militant group which has carried out number attacks against Pakistan in the past few months.

The IEA has however continued to deny reports that TTP is being given a safe haven in the country, and has repeatedly told its neighor that militant groups will not be allowed to pose a threat to any country from within Afghanistan.

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