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Saleh maps out reasons for and accomplishments of US trip

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(Last Updated On: June 27, 2021)

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his entourage returned to the country Saturday evening after a two-day official visit to Washington DC.

During his visit to the US Ghani had meetings with US President Joe Biden and other high-ranking US officials. He also met with some families of US soldiers killed in the war in Afghanistan.

First Vice President Amrullah Saleh, who accompanied Ghani, said on Sunday that as the US military presence concludes in the country: “We needed to align our strategies on leading & managing the new chapter in our relations [with the US].”

Saleh said the main purpose of Ghani’s visit to the US was as follow:

1: To strengthen relations after the withdrawal of US troops and clarify the scope of bilateral cooperation.

2: Discuss and focus on ways to implement and effectively use US defense security assistance – development and humanitarian.

3: Explain the complexities of the peace and negotiation process from the perspective of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

4: To put emphasis on the principled and legal strategy of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in defending its territory and sovereignty.

5: As a symbol of unity and unity of the government and the nation of Afghanistan.

6: Explain the role of the region in Afghanistan post-withdrawal.

7: To show respect for the US Government’s decision to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.

8: Leaders of both powerful US parties, one now in power and the other in opposition, welcomed the Afghan delegation and reiterated their continued support.

9: US President Joe Biden said that the people of Afghanistan should know that he is a friend of Afghanistan in the White House and that the narrative of escaping from their obligations is baseless and wrong.

Saleh also said that on the sidelines of this trip, away from cameras and recorders, the Afghan delegation had a “detailed meeting with a group of Afghan friends, including former ambassadors – former military – development and economics officials – theorists who were now out of government but once held senior leadership positions”.

In conclusion, Saleh said: “We also talked to the American strategizing community. This is part of the hidden system. There was a very long and encouraging consensus. They stressed that as friends of Afghanistan, they would work together to strengthen post-withdrawal relations and use their influence on all parts of the US system to nullify the dream of seizing power by force and bring the Taliban and Taliban supporters back to the negotiation table.”

Saleh also said the visit to the US was “one of the most accomplished trips in the history of foreign travels”.

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UN’s special rapporteur in Afghanistan to assess human rights situation

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(Last Updated On: May 18, 2022)

Richard Bennett, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Afghanistan is currently in the country and has already met with the IEA’s foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi.

Bennett who is in Afghanistan on a 10-day visit, is expected to engage with Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) officials, international and national representatives of NGOs and other organizations, members of civil society and other stakeholders to discuss the human rights situation in Afghanistan.

The IEA meanwhile said Bennett provided information on the purpose of his visit to Muttaqi at their meeting and outlined his mission.

Muttaqi briefed Bennett on the religious and cultural values and cultural characteristics of the Afghan people so that he could take this into consideration while assessing the situation.

In a recent statement, ahead of his arrival in Afghanistan, Bennett said he would engage with the authorities and a broad range of stakeholders to assess the situation of human rights, including with regard to the implementation of obligations under international human rights instruments ratified by Afghanistan, and to offer assistance to address and prevent violations and abuses.

The Special Rapporteur is an independent expert appointed by the Human Rights Council. Bennett, who was appointed on April 1, official resumed duties on May 1.

Bennett will also conduct field visits while in Afghanistan and will deliver his findings in a report to the Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly later in the year.

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IEA approves working process to bring exiled Afghan politicians home

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(Last Updated On: May 17, 2022)

Organization procedures for the commission tasked with getting Afghan politicians and former government officials living abroad to return home have been approved by the leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the commission is expected to start work soon.

It was decided at a recent meeting that the commission’s operational procedures will be announced at a special ceremony in the near future.

“In this commission, all faces, whether women or men, will be contacted, and everyone’s return plan is ready for the patriotic figures to be returned,” said Hassan Haqyar, a close allie of the IEA.

But some political activists have raised questions about the future of any returning exiled Afghans.

The have asked if the politicians for instance will be allowed to carry on with work as previously or whether they will have to give up politics and find another occupation.

The same goes for former government employees.

“We call on the Emirate, in order to implement the plan of this commission, to facilitate the work and activity of these figures again, and there must be a guarantee for everyone who returns, because everyone must see themselves in the mirror of the government,” said Sayed Jawad Hussaine, political analyst.

However, Iran, which hosts a number of former politicians has once again called for the establishment of an inclusive government in Afghanistan.

Recently, Anas Haqqani, a member of the commission, said that about 50 former government officials have so far returned to Afghanistan and that efforts are underway to bring back other political figures.

The meeting of the Commission for the Return of Politicians and Former Government Officials was meanwhile convened shortly after former President Hamid Karzai was ordered to not leave the country.

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India mulls reopening embassy in Kabul

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(Last Updated On: May 17, 2022)

India is exploring the possibility of reopening its embassy in Afghanistan, but without high-level diplomatic representation, an Indian newspaper reported on Tuesday.

A team of Indian security officials visited Kabul in February to assess the situation, the Indian Express reported.

The paper said that the embassy will likely function only with personnel for liaison purposes that may extend to consular services.

India, like many other countries, closed its embassy in Kabul after the Islamic Emirate took over Afghanistan on August 15 last year.

Pakistan, China, Russia and Iran were the only countries that did not close their embassies in Kabul during the takeover.

Some 16 countries have now reopened their embassies in Kabul.

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