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Merkel hopes Germany continues to work with Turkey

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(Last Updated On: October 17, 2021)

In a farewell visit to Turkey, outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her country will continue to maintain a working relationship with Turkey, and stressed the need for continued cooperation on migration and other issues.

“The relationship between Turkey and Germany, with its positive and negative sides, will go on,” Merkel told reporters at a joint news conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the steps of Istanbul’s Dolmabache Palace.

“Everybody knows the security and independence of both our countries depends on each other.”

“We want to prevent human trafficking. It is essential … for the EU to support Turkey in this regard,” she said.

Merkel stressed that Turkey and Germany always have common interests, and added that this would be how the next federal government will see it.

Erdogan said Turkey would “always remember the good faith and the contribution” Merkel made towards maintaining ties with Turkey.

“From prevention of irregular migration from Syria, to dispatching humanitarian aid to northern Syria, on many topics Merkel did not abstain from taking the initiative and taking responsibility,” Erdogan said.

Merkel, who led Germany for 16 years, and Erdogan, who has led Turkey for 19 years, are perhaps the most seasoned political leaders in the region. At times, Merkel has pushed for maintaining ties with Turkey despite pressure at home over contentious issues such as migration and human rights.

Merkel is preparing to leave active politics later this year, but she will remain in her post until a new coalition government is formed.

Her Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) narrowly lost the general elections late last month.

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At least five dead in Kabul mosque bombing

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(Last Updated On: May 25, 2022)

Kabul Emergency Hospital report at least five people have died and 22 wounded in this evening’s explosion at a mosque.

The incident happened in PD4 at the Hazrat Zakaria mosque.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blast.

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IEA printing passports in Lithuania to resolve shortage problem

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(Last Updated On: May 25, 2022)

The General Directorate of Passports of the Interior Ministry of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) said Wednesday that efforts are being made to address the shortage of passport booklets in Afghanistan and that tens of thousands of passports will be available in the next few days.

The directorate said on Wednesday that three million passport booklets have been printed in Lithuania and will be delivered to Kabul within two weeks.

According to officials this is being done in cooperation with the United Nations.

Meanwhile, Shafiullah Tasal, media secretary for the General Directorate of Passports, told VOA that a Lithuanian company printed the passports and that the IEA government has paid the company.

According to Tasal discussions were currently underway regarding delivery.

The IEA has been only issuing ten-year passports for the past month to Afghans over the age of 15.

Children and teenagers under the age of 15 are issued with five-year passports.

The IEA charges more than 5,000 Afghanis for a five-year passport and 10,000 Afghanis for a ten-year passport.

For several weeks now, the distribution of passports across Afghanistan has stopped, and the IEA has only distributed them in Kabul.

However the General Directorate of Passports said once the new shipment of passports arrives, distribution will resume in all provinces.

Two days ago, the department said that a number of people had recently printed fake passport booklets in “neighboring countries” and illegally distributed them to the public in exchange for money.

According to the department, some of these “profiteers” have been detained by IEA intelligence officials and are being investigated.

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Tajikistan to host regional security summit on Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: May 25, 2022)

Tajikistan is scheduled to host a regional security summit on Afghanistan on Thursday and Friday this week.

The meeting will be held in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, and will be attended by representatives from countries in the region.

In addition to this, another meeting was held this week between an Afghan Defense Ministry delegation and the commander of the Uzbek Border Guards.

At this meeting, Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) officials reassured Uzbekistan that Afghanistan’s territory will not pose a threat to any country.

Meanwhile, Tajikistan will host this week’s meeting following successive meetings of regional countries on the situation in Afghanistan, which will be attended by national security advisers of countries in the region.

They are expected to review the security, political, economic and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

The meeting will be held on Thursday and Friday in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, and will be attended by India’s national security adviser and representatives from Russia, China, Iran and Central Asian countries, Indian media reported, but it is unclear whether Pakistan will send a delegation to this meeting or not.

“The border situation and the threat posed by terrorism to Central Asian countries and Afghanistan’s other neighbors will be discussed at the meeting,” India’s national security adviser was quoted as saying. “Women’s rights and the need to form an inclusive government will also be discussed,” The Times of India reported.

The Islamic Emirate, however, has repeatedly said that there is no threat from Afghanistan to neighboring countries and the region, and instead called on these countries to expand their interactions and cooperation with the new Afghan government.

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