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Ghani pledged to fight till death but fled: Blinken

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(Last Updated On: November 1, 2021)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CBS on Sunday that former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani promised to fight till death but instead fled Kabul when the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) arrived at the gates of the city.

This comes a week after former US special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad said on the same show that the Biden administration could have done more to prevent the collapse of the government in Kabul.

On Sunday’s show, the interviewer asked Blinken if he had personally tried to persuade Ghani to stay in Kabul.

Blinken said he had been on the phone with Ghani on the Saturday night, “pressing him to make sure he was ready to agree with the plan we were trying to put into effect — to do a transfer of power to- to a new government that would have been led by the Taliban (IEA), but then inclusive and included all aspects of Afghan society.

“And he told me on the phone he was prepared to do that, but if the Taliban (IEA) wouldn’t go along, he was ready to fight to the death,” said Blinken.

However, the next day, August 15, Ghani fled Afghanistan.

Blinken stated that neither the US intelligence agencies nor any politicians expected “the rapid implosion of the government and the security forces. No one anticipated that would happen over the course of 11 days.”

Asked if he did everything he could, Blinken said the State Department was reviewing everything that the US had done, starting from 2020 when the Trump administration made an agreement with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan, as well as all actions taken over the years.

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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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