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U.N. Security Council discussing condemnation of Taliban

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(Last Updated On: August 13, 2021)

The U.N. Security Council is discussing a draft statement that would condemn Taliban attacks on cities and towns causing high civilian casualties and threaten sanctions for abuses and acts that risk Afghanistan’s peace and stability, diplomats said on Thursday, Reuters reported.

The formal statement, drafted by Estonia and Norway and seen by Reuters, has to be agreed by consensus by the 15-member body.

According to Reuters the text also “strongly affirms that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is not recognized at the United Nations and declares that it does not and will not support the establishment of any government in Afghanistan imposed through military force or restoration of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.”

The U.N. special envoy for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, last week questioned the Taliban’s commitment to a political settlement, telling the Security Council the war has entered a “deadlier and more destructive phase.”

“The Security Council condemns in the strongest terms possible the armed attacks by Taliban forces on cities and towns across Afghanistan, resulting in high numbers of civilian casualties,” the draft statement reads.

The draft text also underlines a council “readiness to impose additional measures on those responsible for violations or abuses of human rights or violations of international humanitarian law, including those involved in attacks targeting civilians, and individuals or entities engaging in, or providing support for, acts that threaten peace, stability or security.” Reuters reported.

The United Nations said on Thursday it is particularly concerned about a shift in fighting in Afghanistan to urban areas, warning that if a Taliban offensive reaches the capital Kabul it would have a “catastrophic impact on civilians.”

The Taliban has stepped up its campaign to defeat the U.S.-backed government since April as foreign forces complete their withdrawal after 20 years. The Islamist militants now control about two-thirds of Afghanistan.

The group claimed control over two of Afghanistan’s biggest cities on Thursday, according to media reports, as the United States and Britain said they would send thousands of troops to help evacuate their embassy staff, Reuters reported.

The fall of major cities was a sign that Afghans welcome the Taliban, a spokesperson for the group said, adding they would “not close the door to the political track,” according to Al Jazeera TV.

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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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