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Russia Invites Taliban to Attend Moscow Conference on Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: October 24, 2022)

Russia has invited the Taliban representatives to take part in Moscow multinational conference on Afghanistan which will be held early September, the Foreign Ministry of Russia said in a statement Tuesday.

The meeting will be held in Moscow on September 4. It will be second such meeting after that in April last year, the statement said.

The Moscow conference is aimed at facilitating the national reconciliation process in Afghanistan and securing peace in that country “as soon as possible”.  

“The aim of the upcoming meeting is to help narrow the gaps in the approaches taken by the Afghan government and the Taliban to launching a direct intra-Afghan dialogue,” the statement said.

 According to the statement, the Moscow format was  introduced in 2017 on the basis of the six-party mechanism for consultations between special representatives from Russia, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iran and India.  

At the first round of the conference which took place on April 14, last year, the United States were also invited to take part in the meeting but it declined, saying it did not know Russia’s objectives for the gathering.

In the statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry, however, cited the U.S. representatives as  saying that the new administration lacked an Afghanistan strategy at the time.

Unlike the previous round, the upcoming meeting will be co-chaired by both Russia and Afghanistan. Twelve countries including the U.S. have been invited to take part in the conference. The leadership of the Taliban’s political office in Doha has also been invited to attend the gathering, according to the statement.

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Continued enforcement of travel ban on senior IEA officials is ‘unjust’

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) describes the international community’s continued travel ban against senior officials as “a cruel and unjust act”.

Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman of the IEA, says the problems in the country are the result of unfair sanctions imposed by the United States and the international community against the new government of Afghanistan and emphasized that if the world intends to interact with the Islamic Emirate, it should lift all sanctions.

Three months ago, an exemption on the travel ban against 13 senior IEA officials ended, however, the UN Security Council has still not extended it. This has prevented the officials from leaving the country.

“Political isolation had no results before, and it will not have any results now; the Afghan people and us want good relations with countries based on mutual respect,” said Karimi.

When the travel ban exemption expired, the UN Security Council held two meetings in order to decide on whether to continue with the exemption but security council members failed to reach a decision at either of the meetings.

The international community has stood by calls for the formation of an inclusive government, the upholding of human rights and the removal of terrorist threats from Afghanistan as its basic conditions for the recognition of the Islamic Emirate and the end of sanctions.

The Islamic Emirate, however, emphasizes that it has met all conditions for recognition.

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Hamid Karzai left country out of necessity: IEA

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2022)

Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai left the country out of necessity, deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), said on Sunday.

Karzai left on Saturday for the United Arab Emirates on his first trip out of the country since the IEA takeover in August last year.

“A necessity was created for him and he left,” Bilal Karimi said.

Karzai is expected to travel to Germany from the UAE. Omar Zakhilwal, a former finance minister, who accompanied him on the flight to the UAE said they will soon return to Afghanistan.
Karzai left the country on the same day Defense Minister Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid headed to the UAE. IEA says the trips are not connected.

Experts meanwhile say allowing Karzai to travel abroad increases the level of trust between politicians and the IEA.

Karzai was among only a few former senior government officials who remained in the country after the IEA takeover.

While Abdullah Abdullah, former reconciliation council chief, has had couple of foreign trips, Karzai was reportedly facing travel restrictions.

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Six injured in Saturday’s blast in Jalalabad city

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2022)

Local officials have confirmed that six people were wounded in an explosion on Saturday in Nangarhar’s Jalalabad city.

This is in addition to the major losses to shops in the area that sustained serious damage.

One of the damaged shops was that of Gul Charan – the city’s only Sikh resident.

According to local officials, the incident is being investigated. The blast reportedly occurred in District 1, in Jalalabad city.

The security officials of Jalalabad meanwhile say the explosion was caused by an IED embedded in a flowerpot.

The residents of the city have called on the Islamic Emirate to prevent such events in the future.

So far, no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the explosion.

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