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Tehran hosts meeting between Taliban and Afghan delegations

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(Last Updated On: July 7, 2021)

A meeting between a Taliban delegation and the Afghan Republic, chaired by the Iranian Foreign Minister, got underway on Wednesday in Tehran.

According to a Taliban spokesman, Mohammad Naeem, Iran invited the Taliban delegation from Doha, led by Shir Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, senior Taliban negotiator in Qatar for “bilateral meetings”.

In his opening address, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said: “Today, the people and political leaders of Afghanistan must make difficult decisions for the future of their country”.

Referring to the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, Zarif called on the parties to return to the negotiating tables and commit to finding a political solution.

He also said Iran was ready to assist in the dialogue process in order to resolve the current crisis in the country.

Zarif also said Iran is committed to contributing towards comprehensive political, economic and social development of Afghanistan after the establishment of peace.

The Taliban delegation is headed by Abbas Stanekzai, the group’s deputy leader of the Doha, Qatar office.

The Afghan delegation is being led by former vice president Younus Qanooni, who has been accompanied by Karim Khurram, former chief of staff to former President Hamid Karzai, Ershad Ahmadi, close aides of former President Karzai, President Ghani’s advisor Salaam Rahimi, Zahir Wahdat of Hezb-e-Wahdat party and Mohammadullah Batash from Junbish party.

Another Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid meanwhile said other issues that will be discussed include that of refugees, border and security and peace in Afghanistan and the region.

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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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