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Draft Dushanbe declaration discussed at Heart of Asia meeting

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(Last Updated On: March 29, 2021)

The first day of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process (HoA-IP) summit was held between Deputy Foreign Ministers of the participating countries in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, Monday, where all officials emphasized the need for accelerating the Afghan peace process.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the participating and supporting countries, international and regional organizations, international financial institutions, the Tajikistan Foreign Ministry said.

“Participants discussed the draft final document of the Ninth Ministerial Conference ‘Heart of Asia – the Istanbul Process’ – the Dushanbe Declaration,” the ministry added.

The participants also stressed the need for a regional consensus and to put pressure on the Taliban to end the long-term war in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan Deputy Foreign Minister Mirwais Nab urged influential countries to force the Taliban to call a ceasefire.

“International consensus is not only important for peace in Afghanistan but also for creating a unified vision of regional connectivity and glory. As we emphasized at the Ministerial Meeting in Kabul that the Afghan peace process is an opportunity for all of us to find a common vision for regional connectivity, cooperation, and economic development,” Nab stated.

Meanwhile, Deputy Foreign Minister of Tajikistan Khosrow Nazeri called on the participating countries not to leave Afghanistan alone at this crucial moment.

“We, the representatives of the participating countries, strongly support bringing peace and power to the region and Afghanistan,” Nazeri said.

He added that the Istanbul process is a very important ground for preparing the region “to pay more attention to the Afghan peace process.”

The Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process was founded on November 2, 2011, in Istanbul, Turkey.

The organization was established to address the shared challenges and interests of Afghanistan and its neighbors and regional partners.

The Heart of Asia is comprised of 15 participating countries are Afghanistan, Turkey, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, India, Russian, Pakistan, China, UAE, and Saudi Arabia

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Former commander of Faryab’s uprising forces returns to Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: June 26, 2022)

A well-known commander of former uprising forces in Faryab province, Nizamuddin Qaisari, returned to Afghanistan on Sunday after fleeing the country.

Qaisari’s returns comes after efforts were made by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) Contact Commission with Afghan Personalities.

Speaking at a meeting after his arrival, Qaisari said the reason for his return is so he can serve his country. He also called on the IEA to form an inclusive government that represents all ethnic groups in the country

“I came for my people; now we have Islamic government; I want to help and work for the government if they want [me] to; I am ready to serve,” Qaisari said. “I am here to unify people, Pashtun, Hazara, Tajik and others.”

The IEA meanwhile welcomes the return of political figures, even those who were once opposed to the Islamic Emirate, the IEA has said.

Experts believe that Afghanistan is the shared home of all Afghans, and the return of political figures and experts in various fields can provide the basis for lasting stability as well as growth and prosperity of Afghanistan.

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Polio vaccination campaign rolls out in western Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: June 26, 2022)

More than one million Afghan children are expected to be vaccinated over the next few days in the latest polio vaccination campaign that was launched in western Afghanistan on Sunday.

Officials said the campaign will run for four days and be conducted across four provinces in the western region.

Waheed Rahmani, head of the vaccination campaign, said that 1.1 million children under the age of five are expected to receive the polio drops, including 720,000 in Herat province.

He said that so far there are no obstacles in the way of rolling out the campaign.

Volunteers said that they hope to reach all the children who need to be vaccinated.

“I along with my team will work honestly to make Afghanistan free from polio virus,” said Fina Nezami, a volunteer.

“I hope that Afghanistan becomes polio-free and we are happy to go door to door for vaccinations,” said Yagana Nabizada, another volunteer.

Local health officials have assured the public that all areas will be covered by the campaign.

“We have not forgotten areas, and while planning vaccination programs, all the areas are reviewed and if any area is left out, it will be immediately covered,” said Mohammad Asif Kabir, provincial deputy health director.

Around 728,000 children received polio drops in the previous campaign in Herat. Around 5,000 volunteers are involved in the current campaign in Herat.

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China pledges over $7 million in aid for quake victims

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(Last Updated On: June 26, 2022)

China’s ambassador to Kabul Wang Yu met with Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and said his country would provide emergency aid worth 50 million Yuan ($7.5 million) for victims of last week’s earthquake. 

At a meeting on Saturday in Kabul, Wang also said that MCC Mes Aynak copper mining contractor would provide $200,000 in aid. 

Wang said on Twitter: “Chinese enterprises will definitely fulfill their social responsibilities. The friendship between 2 countries and peoples will be further strengthened.”

Muttaqi thanked the Chinese government and people for the timely assistance and assured Wang that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) authorities would distribute the aid promptly, fairly and transparently, state-run Bakhtar news agency reported. 

Aid provided by China will include tents, sheets, fold up beds, and other items urgently needed by the Afghan people. The first batch of aid is scheduled to arrive by charter flight on Monday, Bakhtar reported.

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