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Turkey confirms Istanbul Conference to start on April 24

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(Last Updated On: April 13, 2021)

Turkey’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday the Istanbul Conference will start on April 24 and run through to May 4.

In a statement issued by the ministry, Turkish officials stated Turkey, Qatar and the United Nations will co-convene the conference “between representatives of the islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban.”

The conference will be hosted by Turkey in Istanbul.

“The overriding objective of the Istanbul Conference on the Afghanistan Peace Process is to accelerate and complement the ongoing intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha on the achievement of a just and durable political settlement,” read the statement.

The ministry also said participation in the conference and its agenda have been the subject of extensive consultations with the Afghan parties.

“The conference will focus on helping the negotiating parties reach a set of shared, foundational principles that reflect and agreed vision for a future Afghanistan, a roadmap to a future political settlement and an end o the conflict.”

The ministry said it “is our expectation that the conference will provide an important opportunity for all partners to reiterate support for the people of Afghanistan on their path toward inclusive peace, stability, and prosperity.”

This comes just hours after Turkey’s Daily Sabah reported that sources from the ministry of foreign affairs said the start of the talks would likely be postponed until later this month.

All indications until now pointed towards talks starting later this week.

However, a Taliban spokesperson said Monday that the group would not attend the peace conference tentatively planned for later this week in Turkey, putting U.S. efforts to set in place a peace plan anytime soon in jeopardy.

A spokesperson for the Taliban’s political office Mohammad Naeem said on Monday night that the group would however discuss whether to attend talks if they were set for a later date.

Naeem said attendance at the conference and the Blinken peace proposal were being discussed “and whenever the discussion is completed we will share our final decision.”

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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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