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EU asks Afghanistan’s neighbours to prevent exploitation of migrants

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(Last Updated On: November 23, 2021)

The European Union’s top diplomat on Monday urged Afghanistan’s northern neighbours to help prevent what he described as the abuse of migrants for political goals by the Belarusian authorities, Reuters reported

The EU also presented to the former Soviet republics its 1 billion euro plan to support both Afghanistan and its neighbours in areas from basic humanitarian help to migration management.

According to the report the EU accuses Belarus of flying in thousands of people from the Middle East and pushing them to cross into the bloc via Poland, Lithuania and Latvia in retaliation for EU sanctions imposed on Minsk over President Alexander Lukashenko’s crushing of protests against his disputed re-election last year.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen met foreign ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as well as Turkmenistan’s deputy foreign minister in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, Reuters reported.

“I updated ministers on the situation on the borders of the European Union with Belarus and I’ve requested their support in preventing this instrumentalisation of human beings at the risk of their life: cheating people, convincing them that there is a way to Europe through a flight to Minsk,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told a briefing after the meeting.

Speaking at the same briefing, Urpilainen said she had presented to the former Soviet republics the EU’s 1 billion euro Afghan support package, almost half of which is in fact earmarked for neighbouring countries.

She did not say, however, whether Brussels expected them to host any refugees in return – something that local governments have so far expressed little willingness to do.

In a joint communique, participants acknowledged a need to boost cooperation on preventing irregular movements of people and countering migrant smuggling, and said they looked forward to intensifying EU-Central Asia cooperation in managing borders.

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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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