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China’s Foreign Minister calls for regional unity to stamp out terrorism

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(Last Updated On: March 30, 2021)

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday called on all parties attending the 9th Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process in Tajikistan to join forces and increase the fight against “terrorist organizations like Al-Qaida, ISIS and the ETIM until they are completely eliminated”.

He also stated that “foreign troops should withdraw from Afghanistan in a responsible and orderly way, so as to prevent the various terrorist forces from ramping up and creating trouble”.

He noted that he believes all parties attending share a strong desire and firm resolve to advance peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

Wang said with the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan standing at a crucial juncture, there is a rare, historic opportunity for a political settlement of the Afghan issue.

“In this sense, the theme of this Conference, ‘Strengthening Consensus for Peace and Development’, is most fitting and meaningful. Peace is an urgent priority and a prerequisite for development; development is a perpetual pursuit and a guarantee for peace.”

He said the Istanbul Process involves all of Afghanistan’s neighbors and major countries in the region, as well as many international players supportive of the Process an in line with this “China expects all parties to deepen cooperation in the following three areas:

“First, sustaining the momentum of peace talks and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

“The Afghan issue can only be resolved by political means, and the future of Afghanistan should be kept in the hands of the Afghan people.”

Wang said the Afghan people must stay confident and patient, and strive for broad-based, inclusive and durable peace through sincere dialogue and negotiations.

International supporting parties should abide by the “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned” principle, put aside self-interests, uphold fairness and justice, and contribute more positive energy to the peace and reconciliation process, he said.

Second, he said while Afghanistan has made big strides in economic and social development in recent years, “it lacks internal drivers of growth”.

“Currently, the implementation of the China-Afghanistan MOU on Belt and Road cooperation is well underway, and China has provided several billion yuan in grant to Afghanistan.”

He also noted that China had helped during the COVID-19 pandemic,and that it will soon provide free vaccines to Afghanistan.

His third point was on terrorism which he said was a serious challenge for countries in the region and a common enemy of humanity.

“It will be ill-advised to follow double standards in counter-terrorism, as they will backfire at the end of the day. All parties need to join forces and double down on fighting terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda, ISIS and the ETIM until they are completely eliminated.

“Foreign troops should withdraw from Afghanistan in a responsible and orderly way, so as to prevent the various terrorist forces from ramping up and creating trouble. In this context, China will continue to strengthen coordination and deepen cooperation with all other parties concerned,” he said.

In conclusion he noted that China will continue to do its best to support, mediate and facilitate Afghanistan’s peace and reconciliation process.

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Afghanistan announces aid for quake-hit Turkey and Syria

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(Last Updated On: February 7, 2023)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) on Tuesday announced AFN 15 million (approx. $166,000 USD) in humanitarian aid for people affected by recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

Of the total, AFN 10 million (approx. $111,000) will be for Turkey, and AFN 5 million (approx. $55,000) will be for Syria.

The Foreign Ministry in a statement said that IEA stands in solidarity with its brothers and sisters in this time of hardship.

It added that the aid is on the basis of “shared humanity and Islamic brotherhood.”

The statement also said that IEA emergency response and health teams stand ready to participate in rescue operations to assist the affected people if called upon.

The ministry instructed its diplomatic mission in Turkey to not spare any efforts in assisting the victims, and urged Turkey-based Afghan citizens to help with the relief efforts.

Thousands have been killed in Monday’s earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a three-month state of emergency across 10 provinces worst affected by the earthquakes.

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28 million Afghans are in dire need of humanitarian aid: UNICEF

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(Last Updated On: February 7, 2023)

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has announced that Afghanistan needs immediate humanitarian aid.

UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Omar Abdi on Monday said that Afghanistan is experiencing the worst period over the past two decades.

Abdi said on Twitter that humanitarian needs are felt now more than ever before in Afghanistan, and has warned that disruptions of aid will lead to a humanitarian catastrophe in the war-torn country, already plagued with critical challenges.

“Some 28 million Afghans are in dire need of humanitarian aid, which needs the immediate attention of the international community, partners, and Taliban’s caretaker government,” Abdi said.

During his visit with Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore reiterated that the organization is committed to carrying on its much-needed operations in the areas of education, healthcare, and children’s vaccinations in Afghanistan.

Previously, UNICEF announced that Afghanistan is among the eight most hunger-hit countries in the world.

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Iran’s top security official leaves for Russia to attend Afghanistan meeting

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(Last Updated On: February 7, 2023)

The Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani has left the country for Russia to attend a summit that will focus on the political, economic and security situation in Afghanistan.

Shamkhani will join top security officials from Central Asian countries, Pakistan, India and China for a meeting planned for Wednesday in the Russian capital Moscow as part of the fifth round of the multilateral talks on Afghanistan.

The previous edition of the conference had been held in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe in May 2022.

Indian capital of New Delhi had hosted the third round of the initiative in 2021 two years after it was launched in Tehran.

Shamkhani is also scheduled to hold meetings with his counterparts from other countries, including Russia’s top security official.

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