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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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Afghanistan announces aid for quake-hit Turkey and Syria

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(Last Updated On: February 7, 2023)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) on Tuesday announced AFN 15 million (approx. $166,000 USD) in humanitarian aid for people affected by recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

Of the total, AFN 10 million (approx. $111,000) will be for Turkey, and AFN 5 million (approx. $55,000) will be for Syria.

The Foreign Ministry in a statement said that IEA stands in solidarity with its brothers and sisters in this time of hardship.

It added that the aid is on the basis of “shared humanity and Islamic brotherhood.”

The statement also said that IEA emergency response and health teams stand ready to participate in rescue operations to assist the affected people if called upon.

The ministry instructed its diplomatic mission in Turkey to not spare any efforts in assisting the victims, and urged Turkey-based Afghan citizens to help with the relief efforts.

Thousands have been killed in Monday’s earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a three-month state of emergency across 10 provinces worst affected by the earthquakes.

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28 million Afghans are in dire need of humanitarian aid: UNICEF

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(Last Updated On: February 7, 2023)

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has announced that Afghanistan needs immediate humanitarian aid.

UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Omar Abdi on Monday said that Afghanistan is experiencing the worst period over the past two decades.

Abdi said on Twitter that humanitarian needs are felt now more than ever before in Afghanistan, and has warned that disruptions of aid will lead to a humanitarian catastrophe in the war-torn country, already plagued with critical challenges.

“Some 28 million Afghans are in dire need of humanitarian aid, which needs the immediate attention of the international community, partners, and Taliban’s caretaker government,” Abdi said.

During his visit with Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore reiterated that the organization is committed to carrying on its much-needed operations in the areas of education, healthcare, and children’s vaccinations in Afghanistan.

Previously, UNICEF announced that Afghanistan is among the eight most hunger-hit countries in the world.

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Iran’s top security official leaves for Russia to attend Afghanistan meeting

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(Last Updated On: February 7, 2023)

The Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani has left the country for Russia to attend a summit that will focus on the political, economic and security situation in Afghanistan.

Shamkhani will join top security officials from Central Asian countries, Pakistan, India and China for a meeting planned for Wednesday in the Russian capital Moscow as part of the fifth round of the multilateral talks on Afghanistan.

The previous edition of the conference had been held in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe in May 2022.

Indian capital of New Delhi had hosted the third round of the initiative in 2021 two years after it was launched in Tehran.

Shamkhani is also scheduled to hold meetings with his counterparts from other countries, including Russia’s top security official.

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