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Mark Frerichs released after IEA and US agree to prisoner swap

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(Last Updated On: September 19, 2022)

A top Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) official, Haji Bashir Noorzai, has been released after almost 20 years in Guantanamo Bay. He arrived in Kabul on Monday.

He was one of the last Afghans detained at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, according to sources.

According to the IEA’s foreign minister, the US freed the official on Monday in exchange for American engineer Mark Frerichs.

“Haji Bashir was released after two decades of imprisonment and arrived in Kabul today,” said Mohammad Naeem, an IEA spokesperson based in Doha, in a Tweet.

Haji Bashir Noorzai was detained and accused of bringing more than $50 million worth of heroin into the United States.

Speaking at a gathering on Monday, Bashir Noorzai said that his exchange for the American citizen Mark Frerichs will help resolve problems between Afghanistan and the US.

He also called on the world to talk to the Islamic Emirate and choose the way of negotiation.

Noorzai’s attorney denied that his client was a drug dealer and argued that the accusations against him should be dropped since American government agents had deceived him into thinking he would not be detained.

Speaking at a press conference in Kabul, foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi informed the media that they had swapped Frerichs on Monday morning and received Haji Bashir Noorzai, who had spent nearly two decades in prison after being accused of drug offenses.

“The way of force, war and coercion never gives results,” Muttaqi said in the conference. He emphasized on talks and negotiations to solve all the issues, because according to him, this matter has been proven by the Doha Agreement.

Frerichs, a veteran of the U.S. Navy from Lombard, Illinois, spent ten years working on development projects in Afghanistan. He was kidnapped at the start of February 2020.

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Turkish Airlines to resume Afghanistan flights

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(Last Updated On: October 2, 2022)

Turkish Airlines will resume flights to Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan in March next year, it was reported this week.

Turkish Airlines operated from Istanbul to Kabul for more than a decade. Since the political change in Afghanistan in August last year, Turkish Airlines like many other foreign airlines have conducted no flights to Afghanistan.

But Turkish Airlines will return soon. Its first bookable flight to Kabul is on March 27th. However, its first bookable service from Kabul is on the 26th, aviation industry publication Simple Flying reported.

Like Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif is returning. Both outbound and inbound flights will be on March 29th.

Afghanistan Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation also said the country’s airports are ready for flights, and the services at the airports are according to international standards.

Imamuddin Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, said that Fly Dubai is also expected to resume flights to Afghanistan.

Economic experts say international flights will help trade to grow and increase revenues.

IEA announced earlier this month that they signed a contract with Abu Dhabi-based firm GAAC Solutions to provide flight services and manage planes landing and taking off at key airports in Afghanistan.

The flight guidance services deal will also include equipping the facilities and training of Afghan staff at the country’s three major airports, including Kabul.

The two other airports covered under the deal are in Herat and Kandahar.

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Door of negotiations is open to all countries including US: IEA

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(Last Updated On: October 2, 2022)

The Deputy Prime Minister for Political Affairs of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Mawlavi Abdul Kabir says the door of negotiations and understanding is open to all countries, including the United States.

Speaking in a meeting Sunday with a number of academic and scientific figures of the country, Abdul Kabir said that talks are open to all countries around the world, including the US.

The sharing of consultations from scientific personalities to improve the system is said to be one of the main goals of this meeting.

Abdul Kabir has also added that they have started consultations inside the country to bring reforms in the government body, and the leadership of the Islamic Emirate is aware of the sensitivities in the country.

In this meeting however a number of scientific figures of the country have called the constitution, national understanding and national and international belief in the government the most important necessity of the time.

The reopening of girls’ schools is one of the other suggestions of this board, which was emphasized in this meeting.

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IEA urges the world to lift sanctions on new govt of Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: October 2, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate once again urges the international community to lift sanctions on the new government of Afghanistan and also to remove the travel restrictions of the IEA officials.

According to IEA officials, the continuation of these sanctions on the new government of Afghanistan will increase the distance between the Islamic Emirate and the international community.

“The continuation of global pressure and sanctions on the new government of Afghanistan will increase the distance between the Islamic Emirate and the international community,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the IEA.

It has been more than a month since the travel exemption of 13 senior officials of the Islamic Emirate has ended and these officials cannot travel outside of Afghanistan.

The international community has always made the issue of imposing sanctions on the Islamic Emirate conditional on the establishment of a comprehensive government, the provision of human rights, especially the rights of women and girls, and the removal of terrorist threats from Afghanistan, emphasizing that it would not recognize the new government of Afghanistan until these conditions are fulfilled.

However, the Islamic Emirate has repeatedly emphasized that it has completed all the conditions of a legitimate government.

Although the UN Security Council held a meeting twice regarding the extension or rejection of travel exemptions for officials of the Islamic Emirate, but due to differences of opinion among the members of this council, both meetings ended without results.

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