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Regional ministers discuss need for peace at Dushanbe summit

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(Last Updated On: March 30, 2021)

India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar addressed delegates at the 9th Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process Ministerial Conference in Dushanbe on Tuesday and pointed out that a “double peace” was need – peace within the country and peace around the country.

Focusing in on three key points, Jaishankar said: “For a durable peace in Afghanistan, what we need is a genuine ‘double peace’, that is, peace within Afghanistan and peace around Afghanistan. It requires harmonizing the interests of all, both within and around that country.”

He also stated that if the peace process is to be successful, “then it is necessary to ensure that the negotiating parties continue to engage in good faith, with a serious commitment towards reaching a political solution”.

According to him all parties to the conference “are striving for a more inclusive Afghanistan that can overcome decades of conflict. But that will happen only if we stay true to principles that Heart of Asia has long embodied. Collective success may not be easy but the alternative is only collective failure.”

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also addressed delegates and said Tehran supports a peace process that is Afghan-led but called on the UN to not allow foreign countries’ policies to jeopardize Afghanistan’s future.

He also said there was a need for a responsible withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan and emphasized that “the region must be vigilant to fight against Daesh.”

“All countries should be alert about Daesh’s attempt to use religious extremist elements in religious and ethnic conflicts in Afghanistan,” he said.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu meanwhile said his country is working with all parties to accelerate the Afghan peace process.

On the planned US-backed peace summit in Istanbul, scheduled to take place early next month, Cavusoglu said he hopes the meeting will produces tangible results.

“We have invited many countries, we expect the Istanbul Summit to pave the way for an end to the war in Afghanistan.”

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who is also attending the Dushanbe conference, told delegates “we have consistently cautioned against the role of spoilers both within and outside Afghanistan.”

He said Pakistan was also concerned about the continuation of violence across Afghanistan.

UNAMA chief Deborah Lyons in turn told delegates at the conference the “collective support of regional countries will be critical in the success of the Afghan Peace Process”.

Tuesday is day two of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process summit which was founded in 2011, in Istanbul, Turkey. The initiative was established to address the shared challenges and interests of Afghanistan and its neighbors and regional partners.

The Heart of Asia is comprised of 15 participating countries are Afghanistan, Turkey, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, India, Russian, Pakistan, China, UAE, and Saudi Arabia.

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Acting FM Muttaqi leaves for Turkmenistan

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(Last Updated On: February 25, 2024)

Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Amir Khan Muttaqi has left for Turkmenistan for talks with officials of the neighboring country, it was announced Sunday.

Hafiz Zia Ahmad, Deputy Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on his X that Muttaqi, leading a delegation, traveled to Turkmenistan at the invitation of Rashid Murdov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, to discuss bilateral issues.

The delegation includes also officials of the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, Railway Authority and Da Afghanistan Brehshna Sherkat.

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China regrets UN Doha meeting’s failure to have dialogue with IEA

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(Last Updated On: February 24, 2024)

China’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Yue Xiaoyong, on Saturday regretted that the United Nations’ meeting in Doha on Afghanistan earlier this week failed to have dialogue with the Islamic Emirate.

Yue said on X that the meeting was useful for exchange of views and it made a call for more pragmatic engagement and dialogue with Afghanistan.

“Pity is Doha Afghanistan meeting again failed to have dialogu with Afghan interim government or DFA (IEA) as China and regional countries have been calling,” Yue said.

The envoy said that China called more humanitarian assistance, moderate governance, and women and girls’ education.

China also called on US take major responsibility for Afghanistan’s reconstruction, unfreeze Afghanistan’s overseas assets and lift unilateral sanctions.

China also stressed that it is ready to work harder with UN and regional partners especially through Afghanistan’s nonboring countries foreign ministerial meeting and other platforms to enhance engagement with Afghanistan to help for its peace, stability, reconstruction and common prosperity.

The UN had extended an invitation for IEA officials to participate, following their exclusion from the first meeting in May.

However, the Kabul government said they would not participate in the talks unless they could be the sole representative of Afghanistan at the meetings — to the exclusion of civil society groups.

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Latest World Bank decision will support millions of Afghans: IRC

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(Last Updated On: February 24, 2024)

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has welcomed the latest move by the World Bank to use International Development Association (IDA) funds to scale up support to Afghanistan and expand the scope of its programs, saying these funds will support the delivery of services and access to jobs for Afghans who are continuing to endure a major humanitarian crisis as a result of decades of conflict, climate change and economic turmoil. 

IRC in a statement said that the focus of Approach 3.0 of the World Bank includes the delivery of livelihoods support which will support Afghanistan to at least maintain the current trajectory of low-level economic growth.

“This will be critical to maintaining and stabilizing the Afghan economy, while ensuring the survival of businesses and sources of income for millions. However, Afghanistan’s economic crisis remains the primary driver of the high level of humanitarian needs across the country,” the statement said.

IRC stated that although the announcement of Approach 3.0 represents a new milestone for meeting basic needs in Afghanistan, IRC urges other donors to recognise their role in continuing to contribute to both the delivery of basic services through the World Bank’s Afghanistan Resilience Trust Fund (ARTF) and to the humanitarian response.

All contributions are vital to sustaining support for Afghans, and the international community must continue to provide funding to sustain basic services and prevent the humanitarian crisis from worsening, it added.

A week ago, the World Bank Group announced that its executive board endorsed a new approach to aiding Afghanistan that will deploy some $300 million from the bank’s International Development Association fund for poor countries through United Nations agencies and other international organizations.

The shift marks the first time that the World Bank’s own funds would be sent to Afghanistan since the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) seized power in August 2021.

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