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Turkey offers to run Kabul airport, but puts conditions in place

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(Last Updated On: June 8, 2021)

Turkey has offered to guard and run Kabul’s airport after the United States and other NATO forces withdraw from Afghanistan, but U.S. officials say Ankara is imposing conditions which need to be resolved as their leaders prepare to meet next week, Reuters reported.

Turkish officials say Ankara made the proposal at a NATO meeting in May when the United States and its partners agreed a plan to withdraw troops by September 11 after 20 years of war trying to defeat Taliban forces.

Turkish and U.S. officials have discussed possible requirements for the mission, some of which Washington has agreed to address, one Turkish official said.

“Following the United States’ decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, Turkey has made an offer to ensure the security of Kabul airport. In this framework, there are talks underway with NATO and the United States,” the Turkish official said.

A Turkish role securing the airport for international flights could help improve ties between Ankara and the West, sorely strained by Turkey’s purchase of Russian defence systems and disputes with European countries over drilling rights in east Mediterranean waters, Reuters reported.

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said on Monday that Ankara’s offer was contingent on backup from those allies.

“We intend to stay in Afghanistan depending on conditions. What are our conditions? Political, financial and logistical support. If these are met, we can remain at Hamid Karzai International Airport,” his ministry quoted Akar as saying.

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they welcomed the Turkish proposal but that Ankara was asking for too many U.S. “enablers” for the mission, Reuters reported.

The officials also cited some U.S. concern about Turkey’s reliability, given their other disagreements, but said Washington would find a way to make it work.

NATO leaders will discuss Afghanistan at a summit next Monday, where Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will meet Joe Biden for the first time since the U.S. president took office.

Securing Kabul airport could help persuade some countries to maintain a diplomatic presence in Afghanistan. Last month Australia shut its embassy there due to security concerns.

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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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