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Afghanistan, Turkey, Pakistan, call on Taliban to commit to Afghan peace talks

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(Last Updated On: April 26, 2021)

Afghanistan, Turkey, and Pakistan on Friday called on the Taliban to reaffirm their commitment to achieving an inclusive negotiated settlement leading to lasting peace in Afghanistan.

The Foreign Ministers of these countries held a trilateral meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, and discussed the Afghan peace process.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar, who was tested positive for COVID-19, virtually attended the conference.

“Regretfully I tested positive for Covid-19 and had to attend the Afghanistan-Turkey-Pakistan Meeting virtually,” Atmar tweeted.

“Grateful to my brothers Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Shah Mahmood Qureshi for supporting a peaceful, sovereign, united and democratic Afghanistan.”

“Deploring violence, we called on Taliban for an immediate ceasefire and return to negotiation,” Atmar said.

In a joint statement issued after talks in Istanbul, the three diplomats stated that a sustainable peace can be achieved only through an inclusive Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political process that aims a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire along with an inclusive political settlement to end the conflict in the country.

The diplomats emphasized the urgent need for an immediate ceasefire both to end the existing high level of violence and to provide a conducive atmosphere for the peace talks.

A U.S.-backed Afghan peace conference to be hosted in Istanbul hosted by Turkey, Qatar, and the United Nations on Saturday was postponed over the Taliban’s non-participation.

Ankara has said the talks will be held after the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan but no new date has been set.

The foreign ministers of Turkey, Afghanistan, and Pakistan on Friday discussed the planned conference, aimed at fast-tracking an agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban following Washington’s announcement that foreign troops will leave Afghanistan by Sept. 11.

The ministers “called on all parties, in particular, the Taliban to reaffirm their commitment for achieving an inclusive negotiated settlement leading to lasting peace in Afghanistan desired by the Afghan people, the region and the international community”, according to the joint statement.

They also “deplored the continuing high level of violence in Afghanistan.”

Speaking at a joint news conference after the talks, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara’s support for the Afghan peace process and efforts to organize the conference in Istanbul would continue.

“As the co-organizers, we are continuing talks on this with all sides,” he said, alongside Pakistani Foreign Minister Shan Mahmood Qureshi.

Afghan Foreign Minister Hanif Atmar joined the meeting via video link for health reasons, Cavusoglu said.

The Taliban had earlier refused to attend any summits until all foreign forces were pulled out of Afghanistan. The Taliban and the United States last year agreed that all foreign forces would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by May 1, a date that was pushed back last week by U.S. President Joe Biden.

The Islamist Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, when they were ousted by U.S.-led forces. Since then, they have waged a long-running insurgency and still control wide swathes of territory.

Reporter: Bais Hayat

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US understands importance of Chabahar Port for Afghanistan: India

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(Last Updated On: May 18, 2024)

The United States understands the importance of Chabahar Port for continued humanitarian supplies to Afghanistan and to provide the country economic alternatives, India’s foreign ministry said on Friday.

 India recently signed a 10-year agreement to develop and operate Iran’s strategic Chabahar Port as New Delhi aims to boost trade ties with landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asian countries, bypassing ports in its western neighbour and arch foe Pakistan.

But the deal has prompted a thinly veiled threat of sanctions from the United States, with whom India has developed close economic and military ties in recent decades.

India’s foreign ministry spokesman, Randhir Jaiswal, noted that since 2018, India has supplied 85,000 metric tons of wheat, 200 metric tons of pulses and 40,000 litres of pesticide Malathion to Afghanistan through Chabahar Port.

“The United States also has an understanding…understands the importance of Chabahar Port for continued humanitarian supplies to Afghanistan and to provide Afghanistan economic alternatives,” he said in a press conference.

“Our External Affairs Minister also spoke on this matter in several forums recently, where he said that we should not take a narrow view of this particular project, it has an important role to play as far as the region is concerned, connectivity is concerned, particularly for the landlocked countries in the area,” he added.

He also said that Russia‘s special envoy to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, met with an Indian delegation led by Joint Secretary, J.P. Singh, who looks after Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, in the Ministry of External Affairs, essentially exchange of views on the ground and the situation and how the two countries look at the situation.

He said that they emphasized on the need to provide development assistance and humanitarian support to the people of Afghanistan.

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Nicaragua president sends letter of condolence to IEA leader after floods

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(Last Updated On: May 18, 2024)

The Afghan Embassy in China announced Saturday that the President of Nicaragua has sent a letter of condolence to the leader of the Islamic Emirate, Mawlawi Hebatullah Akhundzada, following the recent deadly floods in Afghanistan.

Based on the embassy’s statement, the letter was handed over by Michael Campbell, the Nicaraguan ambassador to China, to Bilal Karimi, the Afghan ambassador to China.

In the letter, Nicaragua president, Daniel Ortega, while expressing his sympathy over the floods, expressed his interest in establishing good relations with the Islamic Emirate and cooperation in various fields.

The Nicaraguan ambassador stated that the Nicaraguan people, like the Afghans, achieved independence after a hard struggle against the colonialists, which is a common point between the two countries.

Meanwhile, Bilal Karimi, Afghanistan’s ambassador to China, has said that he will convey the condolence letter of the President of Nicaragua to the leader of the Islamic Emirate. He also assured of maintaining good relations with the country.

Karimi emphasized that all Latin American countries are important, but Nicaragua’s taking the initiative is a positive and admirable move.

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UN Doha meeting should reflect realities of Afghanistan: Iranian envoy

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(Last Updated On: May 18, 2024)

Iran’s special representative for Afghanistan, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, said in a meeting with his Italian counterpart that the next UN-convened meeting on Afghanistan should reflect the realities of the country.

Qomi said that Tehran is ready to work with Europe on the development of a comprehensive cooperation plan for Afghanistan based on the consultations it has conducted.

He added that the topics of the third meeting of special envoys on Afghanistan in Doha should be based on the realities of the region and Afghanistan.

“The actions of countries outside the region have not been useful in solving the crisis and challenges of Afghanistan so far, and if this situation continues, Europe will also be plagued by the problems,” he said.

The last meeting of the United Nations on Afghanistan was held in Doha in February this year, but it failed to achieve its primary objectives.

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