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Iran ready for prisoners swap with US ‘without preconditions’

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(Last Updated On: May 10, 2020)

Iran is ready for a full prisoner swap with the US, amid the country’s fear for the health and safety of Iranians in US jails during the Pandemic, a local news outlet reported.

“We are ready to exchange Iranian and American prisoners and we are ready to discuss this issue without with the US without any preconditions, “ Ali Rabiei, Iran’s government spokesperson said quoted by the Khabar online, an Iranian media agency.

Rabiei said that the US yet to respond to Iran’s proposal.

“We hope that as the outbreak of the COVID-19 disease threatens the lives of Iranian citizens in the US prisons, the US government eventually will prefer lives to politics… We are worried about the safety and health of Iranians in jail. . . We hold America responsible for Iranians’ safety amid the new Coronavirus outbreak,” the Iranian official said.

Rabiei added that it seems that the US has more readiness to bring the situation to an end.

In a rare act of cooperation between two longtime rivals, the US and Iran swapped prisoners in 2019 — American graduate student Xiyue Wang, detained for three years on spying charges, and imprisoned Iranian stem-cell researcher Massoud Soleimani, accused of sanction violations, AlJazeera reported.

According to the report, the exchange in December last year was facilitated by the Swiss government.

“There is no need for a third country to mediate between Iran and America for the prisoner exchange,” Rabiei has told Khabar Online.

Michael White, a US Navy veteran who has been detained in Iran since 2018, is reportedly a likely candidate to be swapped.

He was detained in Iran for allegedly insulting the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and posting private information online but he was released from prison in mid-March on medical furlough but remains in Iran.

Iran is believed to be holding at least four Americans.

Iran says U.S. authorities are holding some 20 Iranian nationals in jail.

It comes as, so far, 1,309,698 people in the United States have been infected with the COVID-19 with 78,799 deaths, while Iran witnessed 107,603 positive cases with 6,640 fatalities.

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US understands importance of Chabahar Port for Afghanistan: India

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(Last Updated On: May 18, 2024)

The United States understands the importance of Chabahar Port for continued humanitarian supplies to Afghanistan and to provide the country economic alternatives, India’s foreign ministry said on Friday.

 India recently signed a 10-year agreement to develop and operate Iran’s strategic Chabahar Port as New Delhi aims to boost trade ties with landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asian countries, bypassing ports in its western neighbour and arch foe Pakistan.

But the deal has prompted a thinly veiled threat of sanctions from the United States, with whom India has developed close economic and military ties in recent decades.

India’s foreign ministry spokesman, Randhir Jaiswal, noted that since 2018, India has supplied 85,000 metric tons of wheat, 200 metric tons of pulses and 40,000 litres of pesticide Malathion to Afghanistan through Chabahar Port.

“The United States also has an understanding…understands the importance of Chabahar Port for continued humanitarian supplies to Afghanistan and to provide Afghanistan economic alternatives,” he said in a press conference.

“Our External Affairs Minister also spoke on this matter in several forums recently, where he said that we should not take a narrow view of this particular project, it has an important role to play as far as the region is concerned, connectivity is concerned, particularly for the landlocked countries in the area,” he added.

He also said that Russia‘s special envoy to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, met with an Indian delegation led by Joint Secretary, J.P. Singh, who looks after Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, in the Ministry of External Affairs, essentially exchange of views on the ground and the situation and how the two countries look at the situation.

He said that they emphasized on the need to provide development assistance and humanitarian support to the people of Afghanistan.

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Nicaragua president sends letter of condolence to IEA leader after floods

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(Last Updated On: May 18, 2024)

The Afghan Embassy in China announced Saturday that the President of Nicaragua has sent a letter of condolence to the leader of the Islamic Emirate, Mawlawi Hebatullah Akhundzada, following the recent deadly floods in Afghanistan.

Based on the embassy’s statement, the letter was handed over by Michael Campbell, the Nicaraguan ambassador to China, to Bilal Karimi, the Afghan ambassador to China.

In the letter, Nicaragua president, Daniel Ortega, while expressing his sympathy over the floods, expressed his interest in establishing good relations with the Islamic Emirate and cooperation in various fields.

The Nicaraguan ambassador stated that the Nicaraguan people, like the Afghans, achieved independence after a hard struggle against the colonialists, which is a common point between the two countries.

Meanwhile, Bilal Karimi, Afghanistan’s ambassador to China, has said that he will convey the condolence letter of the President of Nicaragua to the leader of the Islamic Emirate. He also assured of maintaining good relations with the country.

Karimi emphasized that all Latin American countries are important, but Nicaragua’s taking the initiative is a positive and admirable move.

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UN Doha meeting should reflect realities of Afghanistan: Iranian envoy

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(Last Updated On: May 18, 2024)

Iran’s special representative for Afghanistan, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, said in a meeting with his Italian counterpart that the next UN-convened meeting on Afghanistan should reflect the realities of the country.

Qomi said that Tehran is ready to work with Europe on the development of a comprehensive cooperation plan for Afghanistan based on the consultations it has conducted.

He added that the topics of the third meeting of special envoys on Afghanistan in Doha should be based on the realities of the region and Afghanistan.

“The actions of countries outside the region have not been useful in solving the crisis and challenges of Afghanistan so far, and if this situation continues, Europe will also be plagued by the problems,” he said.

The last meeting of the United Nations on Afghanistan was held in Doha in February this year, but it failed to achieve its primary objectives.

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