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Khalilzad says patience is needed to resolve a 40-year war

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(Last Updated On: October 7, 2020)

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said on Tuesday that both sides to the peace process need to find a way where there is neither a winner nor a loser in attaining peace. 

He said the Taliban “will not take over the government instead they will be part of it and all parties should be part of the government as it should be a comprehensive government.”

Speaking to Radio Azadi, Khalilzad said: “Talks need patience,” adding that one cannot predict how long it will take to resolve a 40-year-old conflict, but that it needs to end sooner rather than later. 

“Having patience, accepting each other, and finding a formula that is acceptable by both sides and is applicable,” he said. 

“It needs work; both sides should be ready to find a way where there is neither a winner nor a loser and the real winner should be the people of Afghanistan so that their long-term war, with, unfortunately, a large number of Afghans being killed or wounded every day, should end.”

He said one of the major obstacles in the way of progress is the high level of violence, which “fuels distrust between the two sides.”

“We are in favor of reducing violence and we also encouraged during the meetings in Doha that the violence should be reduced,” he said. 

He pointed out that the two sides have yet to reach an agreement on the framework of talks.

Khalilzad said the US has emphasized to all parties that US policy for Afghanistan in future would have a direct link to the decision taken by the negotiating teams on the structure of a new political system that respects the will of all Afghans. He said this decision also pertained to the financial assistance the US would provide in future. 

Khalilzad’s discussion came after a day of high-level meetings and discussions between Afghan officials, negotiating team members, Afghan media representatives, President Ashraf Ghani and the Taliban in Doha on issues around the peace talks. 

While Ghani met with Qatar officials and members of the Afghan peace talks team he did not meet with the Taliban. However, members of the Afghan media did meet with the Taliban.

 

In a press briefing on Tuesday night, Acting Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar said the two main obstacles at the moment, which has resulted in a deadlock in talks, were the issue of jurisprudence and political agreement. 

He said: “The two primary issues are critical for rules of procedure to move the peace talks further.

“I hope that all the parties will be able to make a final agreement, bringing peace for the Afghan people.”

Atmar then said the Afghan government is pursuing three objectives at the moment to achieve peace.

“The first objective is to remove the obstacles in the way of reaching the rules of procedure for the peace process.

“The second objective is to have a reduction in violence, and finally, to have a complete ceasefire,” he said adding that this is a legitimate desire of all Afghans.

“Reduction in violence was promised to the people during the peace agreement,” signed in Doha in February between the United States and the Taliban. 

“It is necessary to establish a special mechanism to monitor the level of violence, and the two sides have to take effective measures to address the reasons behind the violence.

“The third objective of the Afghan government is to make sure that the peace negotiations lead to an agreement of political settlement, which would establish a permanent ceasefire,” he said.

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Baradar meets with Bayat chairman to discuss continued investment in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: June 26, 2022)

The deputy prime minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) for economic affairs, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, met with Dr Ehsanollah Bayat, the chairman of the Bayat Group and its subsidiary the Bayat Foundation, this weekend to discuss the company’s future plans regarding ongoing investment in the country.

The Bayat Group is Afghanistan’s largest private diversified services company, comprising telecoms, media, energy, technology and other enterprises, while the Bayat Foundation provides life saving aid to Afghans in times of need as well as health services.

In their meeting Saturday, Baradar and Dr Bayat discussed investment possibilities in a number of sectors.

According to Baradar’s office, Dr Bayat said he was ready to invest in Afghanistan in the health, electricity and telecommunications sectors.

In a series of tweets, Baradar’s office noted that the deputy prime minister told Dr Bayat in the meeting: “We appreciate and support all the efforts of businessmen and investors in the economic reconstruction of the country.”

He added: “Anyone who invests in Afghanistan and provides job opportunities for the people, we will support him and assure them of their security in the country.”

Baradar also thanked Dr Bayat for the services being provided by the Bayat Group and by the Bayat Foundation.

From 4G LTE communications to electric power, broadcasting, high speed internet, construction and mobile money, The Bayat Group builds market-leading enterprises that provide Afghans with innovative and popular products and services.

A champion of Afghan-based economic development, The Bayat Group provides employment to more than 10,000 Afghans through its direct operations and employs more than 100,000 other Afghan citizens through its ecosystem of dealers and vendors.

The foundation, which was started in 2006, has meanwhile helped rebuild Afghanistan as well as deliver hope and support to the neediest and most at-risk Afghans.

Involved in building mosques, and in the health care and education sectors, the foundation also answers to calls following natural disasters and times of human suffering.

A key example of the type of assistance provided by the Bayat Foundation was in the aftermath of last week’s earthquake in Paktika and Khost provinces.

Within hours of Wednesday’s quake, the foundation had dispatched not only essential relief including shelter, blankets and food, but also a team of doctors and a mobile clinic with life saving medicines to treat the injured.

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China pledges over $7 million in aid for quake victims

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(Last Updated On: June 26, 2022)

China’s ambassador to Kabul Wang Yu met with Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and said his country would provide emergency aid worth 50 million Yuan ($7.5 million) for victims of last week’s earthquake. 

At a meeting on Saturday in Kabul, Wang also said that MCC Mes Aynak copper mining contractor would provide $200,000 in aid. 

Wang said on Twitter: “Chinese enterprises will definitely fulfill their social responsibilities. The friendship between 2 countries and peoples will be further strengthened.”

Muttaqi thanked the Chinese government and people for the timely assistance and assured Wang that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) authorities would distribute the aid promptly, fairly and transparently, state-run Bakhtar news agency reported. 

Aid provided by China will include tents, sheets, fold up beds, and other items urgently needed by the Afghan people. The first batch of aid is scheduled to arrive by charter flight on Monday, Bakhtar reported.

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Thousands of earthquake victims in need of water and food, at risk of disease

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(Last Updated On: June 26, 2022)

Thousands affected by a deadly earthquake in eastern Afghanistan are in need of clean water and food and are at risk of disease, an Afghan Health Ministry official said on Sunday days after a United Nations agency warned of a cholera outbreak in the region.

At least 1,000 people were killed, 2,000 injured and 10,000 homes destroyed in last Wednesday’s earthquake, after which the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned that cholera outbreaks in the aftermath are of particular and serious concern.

“The people are extremely needy for food and clean water,” Afghanistan Health Ministry spokesperson Sharafat Zaman told Reuters, adding that officials had managed medicines for now but handling those who had lost their homes would be a challenge.

“We ask the international community, humanitarian organizations to help us for food and medicine, the survivor might catch diseases because they don’t have proper houses and shelters for living,” he said.

The UN and several countries have rushed aid to the affected areas, with more due to arrive over the coming days.

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