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IEA names Afghan UN envoy, asks to speak to world leaders

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The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) has asked to address world leaders at the United Nations in New York this week and nominated their Doha-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s UN ambassador, according to a letter seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi made the request in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday, Reuters reported.

Muttaqi asked to speak during the annual high-level meeting of the General Assembly, which finishes on Monday.

Guterres’ spokesperson, Farhan Haq, confirmed Muttaqi’s letter.

The move sets up a showdown with Ghulam Ishaqzai, the UN ambassador in New York representing Afghanistan’s government ousted last month by the IEA.

Haq said the rival requests for Afghanistan’s UN seat had been sent to a nine-member credentials committee, whose members include the United States, China and Russia. The committee is unlikely to meet on the issue before Monday, so it is doubtful that the IEA foreign minister will address the world body, Reuters reported.

Eventual UN acceptance of the ambassador of the IEA would be an important step in the new government’s bid for international recognition, which could help unlock badly needed funds for the cash-strapped Afghan economy.

Guterres has said that the IEA’s desire for international recognition is the only leverage other countries have to press for inclusive government and respect for rights, particularly for women, in Afghanistan.

The IEA’s letter said Ishaqzai’s mission “is considered over and that he no longer represents Afghanistan,” said Haq.

Until a decision is made by the credentials committee Ishaqzai will remain in the seat, according to the General Assembly rules. He is currently scheduled to address the final day of the meeting on September 27, but it was not immediately clear if any countries might object in the wake of the Islamic Emirate’s letter.

The committee traditionally meets in October or November to assess the credentials of all UN members before submitting a report for General Assembly approval before the end of the year. The committee and General Assembly usually operate by consensus on credentials, diplomats said.

Others members of the committee are the Bahamas, Bhutan, Chile, Namibia, Sierra Leone and Sweden.

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Cherry yields have increased in Takhar province

Meanwhile, officials from Takhar’s Department of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock said that the prices have decreased due to the increase in yield.

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Farmers in Takhar say the harvest of cherries has increased in this province, but they are worried about the drop in prices and the lack of a market for sales.

Cherry farmers in Takhar said that the price earned from cultivating fruits has dropped, compared to previous years, and asked the government to help with the marketing of crops.

“Fruits are plentiful this year. It is Iranian cherries, it is domestic cherries. Unfortunately, compared to previous years, the price of cherries is very low,” said one Takhar cherry farmer.

“The price this year is very different from last year; last year the prices were very high, this year it is low,” said another farmer.

Fresh fruit sellers also said that Takhar’s fruit was exported to neighboring and central provinces in the past years, but this year they do not have customers outside their own province – which is a cause for concern among them.

Meanwhile, officials from Takhar’s Department of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock said that the prices have decreased due to the increase in yield.

“In the previous years, due to the drought, the prices of fruits and vegetables increased,” said Abdulalla Radmard, director for promotions at the Directorate of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock of Takhar.

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Pakistan to offer 4,500 scholarships to Afghan students

Pakistan’s Ministry of Education stated in the past it had awarded scholarships to 6,000 Afghan students as part of phase one and two.

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Pakistan has announced it will provide 4,500 scholarships to Afghan students, as part of the Allama Iqbal Scholarship for Afghan Students program.

Asid Durrani, Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, said in a post on X that this is phase 3 of the program and that scholarships will be granted to Afghan students in natural sciences and social sciences across various universities in Pakistan.

However, Durani did not provide details regarding costs nor whether this would include female students.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Education stated in the past it had awarded scholarships to 6,000 Afghan students as part of phase one and two.

Following the suspension of education for girls in Afghanistan, several countries, including Germany, Japan, Iran, and Tajikistan, have also offered scholarships to Afghan girls.

 

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Efforts underway to standardize processing of export goods: Baradar

Baradar called on all exporters to ensure their exports meet international standards, preserving the country’s reputation, and to remain vigilant against competitors who may attempt to undermine Afghanistan’s exports.

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The Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund, says export processing zones will be established in six provinces of the country, including Kabul, and that he is trying to ensure the processing of export products meets international standards.

Marking National Export Day at an event in Kabul, Baradar emphasized the importance of trade relations between countries to meet their respective needs through exports and imports. He highlighted that countries with higher export volumes see significant growth in domestic production and accelerated economic development.

Baradar assured all export companies in Afghanistan that the Islamic Emirate’s export-oriented economic policies will elevate the country’s export levels, ensuring that all surplus production is commercially exported to other countries.

He announced that under the directive of the IEA supreme leader, export processing zones meeting international standards will be established in six provinces, including Kabul.

The land transfer and ownership processes for these zones have been completed, and they will soon be operational to standardize exports, he said.

Referring to the export process, Baradar stated that exports are currently conducted from 13 provinces to various countries around the world.

The IEA has set up offices in these provinces to facilitate and expedite the export process, significantly reducing the time required for export procedures. He mentioned that efforts are being made to find potential and alternative markets for Afghan export goods in the region and globally, with progress already achieved in negotiating preferential tariffs.

He called on all exporters to ensure their exports meet international standards, preserving the country’s reputation, and to remain vigilant against competitors who may attempt to undermine Afghanistan’s exports.

He stressed the importance of exporting finished products instead of raw materials, aligning with the Islamic Emirate’s economic policies.

Processing raw materials domestically will create opportunities for new factories to operate.

Addressing the National Export Day gathering, Baradar revealed that the IEA is negotiating with reputable international companies to standardize all national ports, aiming to enhance the quality and quantity of exports.

This initiative is expected to have a significant positive impact on the country’s export sector.

To ensure transparent and reliable exports, Baradar urged all security agencies to prevent smuggling, impose severe penalties on offenders, and protect the efforts of the IEA and traders.

Baradar also appealed to national traders to build cold storage facilities in accordance with international standards to prevent the deterioration of manufactured goods and agricultural products.

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