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Iran’s Zarif meets Taliban, calls for inclusive government

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(Last Updated On: January 31, 2021)

During talks with a visiting Taliban delegation, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Sunday called for the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan.

Iran’s foreign ministry said in a press release after the meeting between the Taliban delegation, led by the group’s deputy leader Mullah Ghani Baradar, and Zarif that Iran’s foreign minister welcomed the idea of the formation of an “all-inclusive government with the participation of all ethnic and political groups in Afghanistan.”

“Political decisions could not be made in a vacuum, and the formation of an all-inclusive government must take place in a participatory process and by taking into account the fundamental structures, institutions and laws, such as the Constitution,” Zarif said.

Zarif also expressed Iran’s readiness to facilitate dialogue between the Afghan government, the Taliban and other Afghan groups.

He said: “The noble people of Afghanistan have been wronged. The war and occupation of Afghanistan have dealt heavy blows to the Afghan people.”

Zarif was quoted in the statement as having expressed hope that the Taliban would focus efforts on an immediate end to the pains and problems of Afghan people, so that the establishment of peace in Afghanistan “would strip the outsiders of a pretext for occupation”.

Meanwhile the statement noted that Baradar said in the meeting that he “denounced the destructive role of ISIS (Daesh) in Afghanistan.”

He did however express “satisfaction with the process of intra-Afghan talks, and described the formation of an all-inclusive government with the participation of all ethnic and political groups as a necessary condition for the establishment of peace in Afghanistan.”

The Taliban delegation arrived in Tehran on Tuesday at the invitation of Iran for talks with Iranian officials.

On Wednesday, they held talks with Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, during which Shamkhani accused the United States of “creating a deadlock” in the intra-Afghan peace talks.

Iran’s top security official called for the “involvement of all Afghan groups” to determine the fate of their country, saying Tehran will “not recognize” any group that seeks to “seize power through war”.

The visit of the Taliban delegation to Iran comes amid a second round of intra-Afghan talks in Doha. The talks resumed earlier this month but have failed to make any headway, even as violence peaks in Afghanistan.

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Attempt to smuggle weapons from Afghanistan foiled

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(Last Updated On: December 8, 2022)

Customs authorities at Torkham border foiled an attempt to smuggle arms and ammunition from Afghanistan into Pakistan, officials said on Wednesday.

An official who displayed the weapons said that action was taken after they received a tip-off and stopped a loaded truck with registration No. E-3657 as it crossed the border. He said the truck was loaded with pomegranates being exported from Afghanistan.

The customs chief said the collector appraisement official for Peshawar, Amjadur Rehman and his team searched the truck and recovered 16 US-made automatic firearms and ammunition. The arms were concealed in hidden cavities in the truck.

Muhammad Salim said that the driver of the truck fled from the scene. However, they launched an investigation. He said the seized arms are banned in Pakistan and could be used in terrorism related incidents.

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Nearly 900,000 children in Afghanistan suffer from excessive weight loss

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(Last Updated On: December 7, 2022)

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has announced that it urgently needs help to treat children and deal with the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

On Wednesday, UNICEF announced that about 875,000 children in Afghanistan suffer from excessive weight loss. The children’s charity says it needs help to treat children and prevent further malnutrition in 2023.

On the other hand, UNICEF announced on Tuesday through a humanitarian appeal that children are facing a historic confluence of crises around the world.

The agency has requested $10.3 billion for 2023 to address the plight of 110 million children worldwide.

Recently, the United Nations announced that 97 percent of the Afghan population lives below the poverty line.

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IEA defense minister meets Dubai ruler, US envoy

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(Last Updated On: December 7, 2022)

Acting Defense Minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Mawlavi Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid, met with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai on Tuesday.

Mujahid also met with Afghan businessmen based in the UAE, the ministry said in a statement.

In his meeting with the Dubai ruler, both sides discussed the strengthening of ties between Afghanistan and the UAE and the facilitation of business services for businessmen and other important issues, said the statement.

In addition, Mujahid met with US Special Representative for Afghanistan Tomas West in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

According to a statement, both sides discussed the current situation in Afghanistan.

Mujahid assured the US Special Representative that all the borders are secure in Afghanistan, saying that there is no threat from Afghan territory to the countries of the region and the world.

Afghan soil has never been used against any other country and never will be used, said Mujahid

He also told West that the world should respect the territorial integrity of Afghanistan.

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