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Blinken discusses recent decisions by IEA ahead of Security Council vote

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(Last Updated On: June 5, 2022)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a recent discussion with a leading American forum that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) has not fulfilled commitments to the international community, based on recent decisions affecting the Afghan people.

In response to a question on Washington’s position ahead of the expected vote on travel bans on IEA leaders this month, Blinken said the decisions, including those on women and girls go “directly counter to the expectations of the international community that are in a UN Security Council resolution.”

The Security Council waived travel bans on senior IEA leaders in April 2019 for the sake of peace talks and extended the suspension in March this year. 

This month, however, the UNSC must decide whether to adjust the current regime of sanctions, including the travel ban, against IEA leaders, the Hill reported recently.   

Blinken said in his discussion with Foreign Affairs that some decisions by the IEA have had an impact on the normalization of their ties with countries around the world.

According to Blinken, if the IEA seeks to establish normal relations with countries, including the US, it must live up to its commitments to the international community.

“It is clear to the Taliban (IEA) that as long as they seek to establish more normal relations with any country, including the United States, they must live up to their commitments, so we’ll see what happens in the next few weeks,” said Blinken.

“Respecting global demands will have a real impact on the normalization of their ties with the world,” he said. 

However, Blinken has stated that sanctions will not affect humanitarian aid being provided by the US to Afghanistan.

“We will do everything we can to ensure that humanitarian aid does not go to the hands of the Taliban (IEA). We will continue to assist those in need in Afghanistan. 

“We will continue to lead this assistance. Sanctions won’t affect humanitarian aid. We are looking for ways to help the people of Afghanistan so that the aid packages do not directly benefit the Taliban,” he added. 

On the other hand, the IEA has repeatedly stated that it has met the conditions for gaining global legitimacy and has assured the international community that no threats will be posed to them from Afghanistan. 

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Afghan man charged in killing of 2 Muslims in Albuquerque

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(Last Updated On: August 10, 2022)

Police in the United States on Tuesday charged an Afghan man with murder after identifying him as the prime suspect in the murder of at least two of four men in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

The suspect, Muhammad Syed, 51, who has lived in the US for five years, was arrested on suspicion of carrying out ambush shootings in the area against Muslim men. 

Police Chief Harold Medina said it was not clear yet whether the deaths should be classified as hate crimes or serial killings or both.

Investigators received a tip from the city’s Muslim community that pointed toward Syed, himself a Muslim, police said.

Local media reports indicate Syed, a Sunni, was angry about his daughter having married a Shiite. However, police have said they are investigating all possible motives.

Ahmad Assed, president of the Islamic Center of New Mexico, acknowledged that “there was a marriage,” but he cautioned against coming to any conclusions about the motivation of the suspect, who he said attended the center’s mosque “from time to time.”

Naeem Hussain, a 25-year-old man from Pakistan, was killed Friday night. His death came just days after those of Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27, and Aftab Hussein, 41, who were also from Pakistan and members of the same mosque.

The earliest case involves the November killing of Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, from Afghanistan.

For now, Syed is charged in the killings of Aftab Hussein and Muhammad Afzaal Hussain because bullet casings found at the crime scenes were linked to a gun found at his home, authorities said.

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Khulm district officially moved from Balkh to Samangan

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(Last Updated On: August 9, 2022)

Khulm district has been detached from Balkh province and is now part of Samangan province, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Mohsin Hashimi, visited the region and said that government had decided to incorporate Khulm district into Samangan province.

Hashimi said that he had been instructed to transfer administrative and security responsibilities for Khulm district to Samangan province in the presence of the governors of both the provinces and give assurances to the local people and security forces.

Balkh Governor Qudratullah Abu Hamza said that security responsibility for Khulm district has been handed over to Samangan authorities.

Meanwhile, Abdul Rahman Kunduzi, the governor of Samangan, dismissed concerns that the move would affect businesses in Khulm district which has until now been part of a province that sits on vital trade routes into Central Asia

“There is no problem for investment in any province,” Kunduzi said.

Khulm district initially had been part of Samangan province, but it was moved to Balkh province during Hamid Karzai’s rule.

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Russia successfully launches Iranian satellite

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(Last Updated On: August 9, 2022)

A Russian rocket on Tuesday successfully launched an Iranian satellite into orbit from the Russia-leased Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan, AP reported.

The Soyuz rocket lifted off as scheduled at 8:52 am Moscow time. About nine minutes after the launch, it placed the Iranian satellite called Khayyam into orbit. It’s named after Omar Khayyam, a Persian scientist who lived in the 11th and 12th centuries.

Iran has said the satellite fitted with high-resolution camera will be used for environmental monitoring and will remain fully under its control.

Tehran said no other country will have access to information it gathers and it would be used for civilian purposes only, but there have been allegations that Russia may use it for surveillance of Ukraine amid its military action there.

If it operates successfully, the satellite would give Iran the ability to monitor its archenemy Israel and other countries in the Middle East, AP reported.

Yuri Borisov, head of Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos, hailed the launch as an “important landmark” in cooperation between Moscow and Tehran.

Iranian state television aired footage of the launch live, noting that the country’s telecommunications minister attended the liftoff in Kazakhstan. Tehran said the satellite will help improve productivity in the agriculture sector, survey water resources, manage natural disasters, confront deforestation and monitor border areas.

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