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It’s too early to consider recognition of IEA: US 



(Last Updated On: July 7, 2022)

The United States said Wednesday no foreign government is contemplating legitimacy for the new government in Afghanistan. 

“I think there’s actually a global consensus to include Moscow and Beijing and Iran, that it’s too early to look at recognition,” Donald Lu, U.S. assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, told VOA in an interview.

“Yes, some countries are beginning a very slow process of normalization of relations. No one is talking about formal recognition,” Lu said.

The U.S. diplomat noted that international discussions instead were focused on seeking an engagement with the IEA that can help improve the situation on the ground in Afghanistan in terms of the rights of women and girls, and security.

“We, as partner countries, should also be working with authorities in Afghanistan to create a better world for Afghan people to try to influence what is happening in Afghanistan for the betterment of the people of Afghanistan, but also a stable region.”

The IEA seized power last August when U.S. and NATO partners withdrew their final troops, ending almost two decades of foreign military intervention in the country.

The US urges the IEA to remove sanctions on women, reopen girls’ schools above the sixth grade and allow them to have access to work if it wants to be recognized.

“It’s critical that all of us work together to try to encourage the Taliban (IEA) onto a constructive path,” Lu said. He emphasized the IEA “now has to get to the business of governance.”

Washington has made it clear repeatedly that no legitimacy is possible unless and until the IEA reverse their restrictions on women and induct representatives of other ethnic Afghan groups into the government.

Lu cautioned the IEA rulers that the investment made by the global community over the past 20 years “will shape the future” of the country, and they “cannot merely impose their own will” on millions of Afghans.

Lu said that the IEA supreme leader renewed his resolve Wednesday in a message he issued in connection with this week’s Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Adha.

“The Islamic Emirate is committed to upholding all the rights of its citizens, as Islam commands us to grant and protect the rights of all people. And within the framework of the Sharia law, the rights of women will be ensured,” IEA’s supreme leader said.

“Within the framework of mutual interaction and commitment, we want good, diplomatic, economic and political relations with the world, including the United States, and we consider this in the interest of all sides,” Mullah Haibatullah Akhunzada further added.

Neighboring and regional countries, including China and Pakistan — which shares a long border with Afghanistan — have kept their diplomatic and trade contacts open with the IEA, citing dire humanitarian and economic emergencies facing the country’s estimated 40 million population.

But these nations also are pressing the IEA to rule the country through a politically inclusive administration, ease curbs on women and desist from cracking down on dissent before they decide to consider the IEA’s call for a formal recognition of their government.

“We hope Afghanistan to be stable, peaceful, pursues a moderate policy and to meet the expectations,” said Wang Yu, China’s ambassador to Kabul, while addressing a rare news conference Tuesday in the Afghan capital.

Lu told VOA that Central Asian countries also are worried about security threats coming from Afghanistan. The U.S. is talking with them about how it can help with cross-border security and “facilitate conversation with this very unusual IEA’s government,” he added.

Meanwhile, Akhundzada reassured Afghanistan’s neighbors and the world at large Wednesday that the IEA would not allow anyone to use their territory to threaten the security of other countries.

In his Eid message, the leader of the Islamic Emirate called for diplomatic relations with all countries, including the United States.

Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, Qatar, UAE, Turkey, India, and even Saudi Arabia, which are important regional countries, have asked the Islamic Emirate to create an inclusive government, but the IEA considers the current system to be inclusive.

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Qatar hosts talks on future of education in Afghanistan



(Last Updated On: March 21, 2023)

Qatar hosted and participated in talks on the future of education in Afghanistan and the challenges the country is facing.

Qatar’s Assistant Foreign Minister Lolwah bint Rashid Al Khater and the CEO of Education Above All Foundation Fahad Al Sulaiti represented Qatar.

A delegation from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) Ministry of Education headed by Education Minister Mawlawi Sayyid Habeeb, a delegation of the UNICEF organization headed by UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia George Laria, and the Chief of Strategic Partnerships at Education Cannot Wait Organization Nasser Fakih also participated in the talks.

During the talks, the participants discussed the economic challenges, poor infrastructure, the limited human resources and qualifications in Afghanistan, in addition to ensuring equal access to education for all, especially girls, Qatar’s The Peninsula reported.

The participants also agreed on the need to ensure the right to education for all, develop a common vision that deals with challenges, and provide high-quality education opportunities for all Afghan students in all regions.

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UN calls for quality education for Afghan boys and girls



(Last Updated On: March 21, 2023)

Richard Bennett, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, and other United Nations experts, said the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) has no “justification to deny the right to education, on any grounds, including religion or tradition” to girls in the country.

In a statement issued on Monday, the UN said that schools should “be reopening to girls across Afghanistan” when the new school year starts on Wednesday.

“Instead, it appears that for the second successive school year teenage girls will be banned from resuming their studies – making Afghanistan the only country in the world that forbids girls and young women from attending secondary school and places of higher education.”

According to the statement, being a state party to United Nations human rights treaties, “Afghanistan is obliged to respect, protect and fulfil the right to education without discrimination on the basis of gender or any other ground, irrespective of the authority in power.”

The UN noted that the IEA denied women and girls their right to education during their initial rule in the country between 1996 and 2001 and after seizing power for a second time in 2021, teenage girls were again denied their right to education.

“Both times, the ban on girls’ education was introduced as a temporary measure. However, during the first period the ban was not lifted and unless the Taliban fulfills its promises to reopen secondary schools and universities immediately, it must be concluded that they have no intention of doing so,” read the statement.

They also said that “even if the ban is reversed, we are concerned about the quality of education that will be provided for girls as well as boys. Disturbing reports from boys’ secondary schools highlight the replacement of qualified professional teachers with religious teachers, with significant changes in school curricula, and a limited provision of school subjects.”

They called for the IEA to immediately reopen all secondary schools and places of higher education to girls and young women.

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Lebanon and Afghanistan named unhappiest countries in the world



(Last Updated On: March 21, 2023)

According to the annual World Happiness Report, Afghanistan (ranked 137) and Lebanon (ranked 136) are the two unhappiest countries.

The report includes six key factors to help explain variation in happiness levels, namely social support, income, health, freedom, generosity, and absence of corruption.

According to the survey, Finland remained in the top position for the sixth year, followed by Denmark, Iceland, Israel, and the Netherlands. In contrast, Afghanistan and Lebanon remained the unhappiest countries, preceded by Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, and Congo.

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