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Hanafi appeals for cooperation, assures the world the IEA is a ‘responsible govt’

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(Last Updated On: October 20, 2021)

Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi said on Wednesday at the high-level meeting in Moscow on Afghanistan that the new Islamic Emirate (IEA) leaders assure the world that no security threat will be posed to them from within Afghanistan.

Addressing delegates at the summit, Hanafi said the new administration was a “responsible government “.

“We assure [the world and the region] that the security situation in Afghanistan is reliable and there is no threat to countries near and far.”

He stated Afghans now have a responsible government, which is committed to national interests, and to safeguarding the country’s political freedom.

“The current government also assures the international community that, as a responsible government, it fully understands all its national and international responsibilities,” he said.

Hanafi went on to say that the IEA leadership has tried to incorporate all ethnic groups and sections of Afghan society into the new Islamic government.

“We must remember that the recent development was a revolutionary one. But we assure our people that the process of reforming the country’s political structure continues.

“It should not be forgotten that the reform process in political systems is time consuming. But there is serious determination in our leadership that the new government will provide standard and fast services to our people,” he said.

Raising the issue of rampant corruption under the previous regime, Hanafi said this problem was prevalent in all sectors of the political structure and that despite repeated promises by former leaders to fight the scourge, nothing was done.

“You all wintessed that the people of Afghanistan have suffered greatly from widespread corruption over the past twenty years.

“Unfortunately, corruption in the previous regime covered all parts of the political structure, and despite beautiful promises at international forums, until the last moment of the previous regime, no progress was made in the fight against corruption, and the leaders of the previous regime missed every opportunity and used the pursuit of national wealth [for their own benefit].

“We inherited a government that owed money to its neighbors. One which had not even paid its employees their salaries for months.

“The new Islamic government proved in a short period of time that it is very serious about the fight against corruption and good governance, and that there will not be the slightest tolerance for corruption.

“We understand that our people have suffered from the wars imposed by foreigners, the imposition of foreign political structures, and widespread corruption. It is the responsibility of our government to provide good services to our people like any other nation in the world,” he said.

He also said it was the first time in over 40 years that a government in power was able to rule the entire country.

“Afghanistan now has a political structure with a clear hierarchy, a unified command. We no longer have anything called islands of power in Afghanistan.”

He said all the pillars of government were now in place and called on the international community to recognize the IEA as the legitimate government and to release Afghanistan’s frozen assets.

He stated that isolating Afghanistan was not in the interests of the rest of the world

“For the first time, our people have a (proper) government, they hope the international community has formal interactions with their government,” he said.

Hanafi told delegates the new government is ready to address all the international community’s concerns openly, honestly and transparently.

“I would like to remind you that the people of Afghanistan have no will to harm any country or nation in the world. As a civilized nation with a strong religion, culture and human values, we want to live in a peaceful environment. We want relations with neighboring countries, the region and the world that are based on the principle of respect for national sovereignty and mutual respect.

“With this platform, we once again call on the United States of America to unfreeze the reserves of the Central Bank of Afghanistan. This is, in fact, the wealth of the Afghan people, and our suffering people should not pay the price for political differences,” he said.

“I want to make it clear that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has proven in the past that in order to preserve freedom, national and religious values and the supreme interests of the country, no deal will be made under pressure that is not acceptable to our people. The pressure option has been proven (to be a failure) in the past.

“It is good to interact through understanding. The Islamic Emirate, as a legitimate government, is responsible for preparing for any civilized interaction with the rest of the world,” he stated.

Hanafi meanwhile met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on the sidelines of the meeting.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed in detail relations between the two countries, stability in the region and a better future for Afghanistan, MoFA spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi tweeted.

China meanwhile came out in support of the Afghan delegation’s participation at the Moscow summit and called on delegates to cooperate with the Afghan people in rebuilding the country.

“They say we can make our region safer and more stable,” Chinese delegates said.

China said it is cooperating with the new government and that it will not interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs but will continue constructive relations with Kabul.

“The international community must not ignore the progress made over the past two months,” China stated.

Eleven countries gathered in Moscow Wednesday to discuss the way forward with Afghanistan which is facing a looming humanitarian crisis as the international community continues to refuse to acknowledge the IEA as a legitimate government.

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IEA, US meet in Doha to discuss freeing of Afghanistan’s frozen assets

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(Last Updated On: June 29, 2022)

A senior Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) delegation, led by Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, headed to Qatar on Wednesday to hold talks with US officials to release some of the $9 billion of frozen reserves. 

According to a Washington Post report, US officials have tried to set up a system for assets to be managed, while simultaneously erecting safeguards to ensure the funds are not siphoned off for misuse by the IEA.

One option discussed by those close to the talks involves having a third party trust fund administer the money, according to the report.

Bloomberg also reported that the discussion will center around “creating a mechanism for releasing the frozen Afghan reserves.” 

Ahmad Wali Haqmal, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s finance ministry told Bloomberg: “We’re expecting this would be a serious round of talks.”

US officials have expressed optimism about the progress on talks but cautioned that several obstacles to the deal remain.

“It would be accurate to say negotiations are underway,” said Shah Mehrabi, an economics professor at Montgomery College in Maryland and a senior member of  Afghanistan’s central bank board since 2002. 

“We are in the process of trying to come up with a mechanism that will allow the transfer of reserves to the central bank of Afghanistan,” he said.

Mehrabi said food costs have skyrocketed by 18 percent in the past several months. Basic household goods rose in cost by 35 percent during the first few months of the year; in May, inflation for household goods hit 42 percent, Mehrabi said.

“These reserves belong to the Afghan people; they are needed to stabilize prices,” he said. “The faster it is delivered to the central bank of Afghanistan, the sooner we will see the impact of the reduction in prices that are critical to enable ordinary Afghans to afford food, cooking oil, and sugar and fuel. Now, they can’t do that.”

The delegation includes central bank Governor Mohammad Idris and Deputy Finance Minister Nazir Kabiri. They will meet with the US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Thomas West and officials from the treasury department, Haqmal said.

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‘If Putin was a woman’ he would not have invaded Ukraine: UK PM

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(Last Updated On: June 29, 2022)

Russian President Vladimir Putin would not have invaded Ukraine if he were a woman, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday.

“If Putin was a woman, which he obviously isn’t, but if he were, I really don’t think he would’ve embarked on a crazy, macho war of invasion and violence in the way that he has,” Johnson said in an interview to German broadcaster ZDF.

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is “a perfect example of toxic masculinity”, he said, calling for better education for girls around the world and for “more women in positions of power”.

The British prime minister acknowledged that “of course people want the war to end”, but for the moment “there’s no deal available. Putin isn’t making an offer of peace”.

Johnson’s comments come ahead of a NATO meeting where allies will discuss how to respond to future threats.

Western allies must support Ukraine to enable it to be in the best possible strategic position in the event that peace negotiations with Moscow do become possible, Johnson said.

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Grand assembly to discuss ways to improve economic, social conditions: Hanafi

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(Last Updated On: June 29, 2022)

The grand assembly of religious scholars, scheduled to begin Thursday, is expected to discuss ways to improve economic and social conditions, Abdul Salam Hanafi, deputy prime minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) said on Wednesday.

Hanafi said people from various ethnic groups and with different views will sit for discussion, which is a positive step in maintaining stability and strengthening national unity in the country.

 “After years, Afghans from various sections and ethnic groups and with different views sit with each other for discussion without foreign interference,” Hanafi said in an interview to RTA. “It is in itself a positive and valuable step for maintaining stability and strengthening national unity.”

He said that more than 3,000 people will participate in the gathering under the mega Loya Jirga tent in Kabul.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the IEA, also said that the gathering will be held under tight security measures.

He said that all technical preparations have been finalized and there will be several committees discussing key issues.

It will be the largest gathering in Kabul after the IEA took over in August last year. 

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