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India shuts last consulate in Afghanistan and evacuates citizens



(Last Updated On: August 10, 2021)

India sent a military plane to northern Afghanistan on Tuesday to pull out its citizens, officials said, as fighting raged between Afghan security forces and the advancing Taliban.

The Indian government shut its consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif, the biggest city in the north, and urged its diplomats and Indian citizens to take the special flight home, Reuters reported.

Islamist Taliban fighters have overrun six provincial capitals in recent days in the north, west and south of Afghanistan.

India, which has invested millions of dollars in development projects across Afghanistan, has now closed all its consulates, leaving only the embassy in Kabul operational, a government official said.

India’s main opposition Congress party urged the government also to help evacuate Afghanistan’s tiny Sikh and Hindu communities, to protect them from any attack by the Taliban, Reuters reported.

Congress official Jaiveer Shergill estimated that there were around 750 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus in the country.

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Afghan embassy in India suspends operations, diplomats from previous government leave



(Last Updated On: September 29, 2023)

The Afghan embassy in India has suspended all operations after the ambassador and other senior diplomats left the country for Europe and the United States where they gained asylum, Reuters reported citing three embassy officials on Friday.

India does not recognise the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), and closed its own embassy in Kabul after the IEA took control in 2021, but New Delhi had allowed the ambassador and mission staff appointed by the Western-backed government of ousted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to issue visas and handle trade matters.

At least five Afghan diplomats have left India, the embassy officials said. The Indian government will now take over the diplomatic compound in a caretaker capacity, one of the Afghan officials said.

Asked about the matter, an Indian foreign ministry official in New Delhi said they were looking into the developments, without giving any details.

IEA officials have yet to make comment on the matter.

India is one of a dozen countries with a small mission in Kabul to facilitate trade, humanitarian aid and medical support. Bilateral trade in 2019-2020 reached $1.5 billion, but fell drastically after the IEA took office.

Earlier this month hundreds of Afghan college students living in India despite the expiry of their student visas staged a demonstration in New Delhi to urge the Indian government to extend their stay.

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Serious management of water resources underway: Acting Minister Mansoor



(Last Updated On: September 29, 2023)

Acting Minister of Water and Energy of Afghanistan Abdul Latif Mansoor has said that the Islamic Emirate has started serious management of water resources.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Ariana News, Mansoor said that due to the recent droughts, people of the country are facing a shortage of clean drinking water and to solve the problem, the ministry has started serious management of water resources.

Mansoor also pointed to the concern of some neighboring countries regarding the recent actions of the Islamic Emirate to manage the waters of Afghanistan, including over the Qosh Tepa Canal, saying that the concerned countries must share their concerns with the Islamic Emirate through bilateral talks.

The acting minister said that this year, 3 billion afghanis in development budget were allocated to the ministry, and most of the budget will be spent on unfinished projects of water dams.

Meanwhile, the Acting Minister of Water and Energy said that there is a capacity to produce 30,000 megawatts of electricity in the country and that the ministry has taken measures to attract more investments in the energy production sector so that Afghanistan can become self-sufficient in electricity production in the long term.

Mansoor says that in order to attract more investments in the energy production sector in the country, they are ready to cooperate with the private sector and will provide them with all facilities.

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No foreign prescription has solved Afghanistan’s problems, Muttaqi tells Moscow format meeting



(Last Updated On: September 29, 2023)

The meeting of “Moscow Format” with the presence of the delegation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) and the representatives of the countries of the region started on Friday in the city of Kazan, Russia.

In the meeting, Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said that no foreign prescription has solved Afghanistan’s problems in the past 45 years.

Muttaqi said that Afghanistan is ready to interact positively with every country based on common legitimate interests, added that: “We hope that all countries will use this opportunity considering their national interests.”

He added: “Now more than ever, the opportunity for the implementation of the North-South Trade Corridor has been provided. It should also be important for countries in the region to know how to protect their interests and take advantage of the opportunities.”

In the meeting, the representatives of the neighboring countries also talked about Afghanistan and asked the United States to lift the sanctions on Afghanistan.

The special representative of China said that in the last two years, the Afghan government has taken important steps in the security, economic and social areas.

He also said that the United States should lift the sanctions against the people of Afghanistan.

“The travel ban of some Afghan government leaders should be lifted and they should be given the opportunity to participate in regional and international meetings,” he added.

The special representative of Uzbekistan said that it is very good that Afghanistan will become part of the “North-South Corridor”.

He said: “Big projects should be implemented in Afghanistan, including the Surkhan-Puli-Khumri power transmission, and other projects in order to fully revive the national economy of Afghanistan.”

He also welcomed the return of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to Afghanistan.

According to him, Western countries present a negative image of Afghanistan.

“We continue our interaction with Afghanistan and we agree with China that the representative of Afghanistan must be present in such meetings,” he said.

Talat Beg, the special representative of Kyrgyzstan, said: “The current government of Afghanistan has good achievements such as keeping the value of the currency stable, controlling inflation and fighting corruption. Kyrgyzstan hopes for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. We want friendly relations with Afghanistan.”

Representatives of neighboring countries asked other countries to interact with Afghanistan.

The special representative of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) said that they want interaction and cooperation with Afghanistan.

“We sent our ambassador to Afghanistan a week ago. We must be present in Afghanistan. This shows that we want interaction and cooperation with Afghanistan. We want a peaceful and stable Afghanistan,” he said.

The special representative of India also said that they have maintained their assistance and relations with Afghanistan.

“We have invested about three billion dollars in Afghanistan and 35,000 students have entered Indian universities,” he said.

He also praised the Islamic Emirate’s fight against drugs and terrorism and added: “Our priority should be humanitarian aid.”

According to reports, representatives of ten countries, including China, Pakistan, Iran, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, participated in the recent meeting of Moscow format, and representatives of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Turkey participated as observer members.

The special representative of Russia for Afghanistan has said that there will be no one representing the United States at the Moscow format meeting.

Friday’s session is the fifth gathering of the Moscow format of consultations on Afghanistan. It was created in 2017 on the basis of a six-party consultation mechanism of special representatives of Russia, Afghanistan, India, Iran, China, and Pakistan.

Its first meeting was held on April 14, 2017 with the participation of deputy ministers and special representatives of 11 countries, including the Afghan side.

The main goal is to promote the process of national reconciliation in Afghanistan and the early establishment of peace. The last, fourth meeting, was held in November 2022 in Moscow, without the participation of the Islamic Emirate.

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