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SCO foreign ministers emphasized the need for bilateral ties with Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: July 30, 2022)

The meeting of foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was hosted by Vladimir Narov, minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan, and attended by the foreign ministers of Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, India and Pakistan, and Zhang Ming, the Secretary General of the SCO, on Friday in Tashkent.

The political and human situation as well as how to connect and grow Afghanistan’s trade and economic cooperation have been the focus of discussion among the foreign ministers of Shanghai summit.

However, this is the first Shanghai meeting after the political changes in Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari considers the Shanghai meeting as a good opportunity to discuss the strengthening of trade and economic cooperation and Afghanistan’s connection with regional countries.

“With the new political developments that have emerged in Afghanistan, there is a need for all the neighboring countries of Afghanistan and the countries of the region to work together for sustainable stability in Afghanistan,” said Zardari.

He has also emphasized the need to expand cooperation between Kabul and Islamabad and has expressed hope for the development of communications, including economic relations between the two neighboring countries.

At the same time, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that his country’s position is close to that of other members of Shanghai and Moscow is working with the new leadership of this country based on the current realities in Afghanistan.

“We have a very close position with our Uzbek friends in terms of the need to know the current realities in Afghanistan and we work with the current leadership based on these realities,” said Lavrov.

In the meantime, Amir Khan Muttaqi, acting minister of Foreign Affairs, said in an exclusive interview with WION that the major problems faced by the Islamic Emirate in the past months are now being resolved and Afghanistan’s relations with neighboring countries and the region are improving.

“We have dealt with many challenges over the years, and most of them have been addressed. The law-and-order situations in Afghanistan have improved now, and the foundations of the country’s economy are also improving day by day. Political ties with neighboring, regional countries and the international community are improving gradually. So, the major challenges that we’re facing have been reframed to a greater extent,” Muttaqi said.

He also further added: “However, Afghanistan has come out of a four-decade-long conflict. There are still many challenges, including the economy, and we’re hopeful of finding a solution to the remaining challenges too and I’m optimistic that with the level of progress that we’re making, we will be able to deal with the remaining challenges and find a good future.”

The foreign ministers of the SCO, in addition to the issues of strengthening trade and economic relations and connecting more member countries, at the end of their two-day meeting, also asked the United States to release the frozen assets of the Central Bank of Afghanistan.

The members of Shanghai also emphasized on the observance of human rights, and women’s work and education in Afghanistan, and stressed the need for reforms to make the government more inclusive in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Emirate considers itself committed to respecting the rights of all citizens within the framework of Islamic values ​​and has always emphasized that it is committed to bringing reforms in the government.

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Thousands of Afghans protest against desecration of Quran in Sweden, Netherlands

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(Last Updated On: January 27, 2023)

Thousands of people took to the streets in different cities of Afghanistan on Friday to protest against the recent desecration of the Quran in Sweden and the Netherlands.

Chanting slogans against both the European countries, protesters called for the perpetrators of the acts to be punished.

“The Holy Quran is the book of brotherhood. This book never insults the sacred things of others. We want that such offensive acts should be prevented in the future,” said Ahmad Khan, a protester in Kabul.

Ismail, another protester in Kabul, said: “We ask Islamic countries to cut off their diplomatic relations with Sweden and the Netherlands until the perpetrators of insulting the Holy Quran are publicly punished.”

Some of the protesters said that they are ready to give their lives to defend their sacred things.

“We are ready to sacrifice our heads, property and children to the Quran,” Qutbuddin said.

In the northern province of Balkh, people protested by chanting slogans against acts of insult to the Quran. The protesters asked the international community and the Muslim world to prevent such acts.

“This crime is a repeated crime. Since countries are obliged to obey to the international laws, such crimes must be stopped,” said Mohammad Naeem, a protester in Balkh.

“Muslims have taught the enemies of Quran and Islam a lesson throughout history, and they will not allow anyone to insult their religion and Quran,” said Maulvi Qahir, a protester in Balkh.

In the province of Herat, protester changed “Death to Sweden and long live Islam.”

“These countries present themselves as friends, but these acts show that they are our enemies and are real terrorists. In international laws, insulting the sacred things is considered a crime. No one has the right to insult the sacred things of a country or a religion,” said Qasim, a protester in Herat.

“We ask the international community, the United Nations and human rights organizations to bring the perpetrators of insults to the Quran to justice as soon as possible. We respect the whole world and we expect that our religion will always be respected,” said Emal, a protester in Herat.

In the east of the country, the people of Nangarhar also took to the streets after Friday prayers to condemn the desecration of Quran.

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Turkmenistan and Afghanistan renew power supply contract

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(Last Updated On: January 27, 2023)

Afghanistan’s Minister of Energy and Water Affairs, Mullah Abdul Latif Mansoor, and the Executive Chairman of Afghanistan’s power utility company (DABS), Alhaji Maulawi Muhammad Hanif Hamza, visited Turkmenistan this week where they signed agreements for the supply of electricity and other joint initiatives.

According to the Afghan Ministry of Energy and Water Affairs, the extension of the electricity contract with Turkmenistan, the completion of the 500KV line project, the construction of Noor ul Jihad substation, and the establishment of necessary coordination for the implementation of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan project were the focus of their trip.

Mansoor said that the electricity export agreement with Turkmenistan was extended for the year 2023 and also assurances were given by Turkmenistan regarding the implementation of the projects.

The ministry underlined that with the completion of the 500 KV line and the construction of Noor ul Jihad substation, the amount of electricity imported from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan will increase by 110 megawatts.

“With the implementation of the TAP project and the 500 kV line that passes through Afghanistan to Pakistan, the residents of many provinces of Afghanistan will benefit from electricity”, the ministry said.

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FM Muttaqi meets Norwegian Charge d’Affaires for Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: January 27, 2023)

Norwegian Chargé d’Affaires for Afghanistan Paul Koloman Bkar called on Amir Khan Muttaqi, the foreign minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), in Kabul and discussed humanitarian aid, security, development cooperation and political issues, said Hafiz Zia Ahmad Takal, the deputy spokesman of the foreign ministry.

Mr. Bkar first expressed his regret over the explosion in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and expressed that his country is determined to work together with international partners through political interaction with Afghanistan considering the current authorities and governance of Afghanistan is a reality and the world should deal with it realistically.

FM Muttaqi said efforts should be made to bring the world and Afghanistan closer to each other, Norway has good experience in this work and can play a role. He added that positive measures of the new Afghan government should be appreciated and given a positive response.

“After decades, we have ensured global security, we have effectively fought against Daesh and drugs and we are committed so that all-round stability prevails in the country and no threat is perceived from Afghanistan,” said Muttaqi.

Minister Muttaqi said, as history has shown, using pressure options in Afghanistan is not useful and now we should move forward on the path of cooperation with each other.

Meanwhile, both sides discussed incomplete projects, education and training and a number of other issues that are suspended due to some obstacles.

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