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U.S. warns Chinese firms helping Russia against potential Ukraine sanctions



(Last Updated On: February 4, 2022)

The United States warned Chinese firms on Thursday they would face consequences if they sought to evade any export controls imposed on Moscow in the event of Russia invading Ukraine.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price made the remark after China’s Foreign Ministry said China and Russia had coordinated their positions on Ukraine during a meeting between their foreign ministers in Beijing on Thursday.

“We have an array of tools that we can deploy if we see foreign companies, including those in China, doing their best to backfill U.S. export control actions, to evade them, to get around them,” Price told a regular news briefing.

Western countries say any invasion of Ukraine by Russia would bring sanctions on Moscow and Washington has said it is prepared to impose financial sanctions as well as export-control measures.

White House national security official Peter Harrell said on Wednesday that Washington was working on the export-control measures with allies in Asia, including Japan and South Korea.

Price said Russia should know that a closer relationship with Beijing would not make up for the consequences imposed in response to an invasion.

“If Russia thinks that it will be in a position … to mitigate some of those consequences, by a closer relationship with (China), that is not the case. It will actually make the Russian economy, in many ways, more brittle,” he said.

“If you deny yourself the ability to transact with the West, to import with the West, from Europe, from the United States, you are going to significantly degrade your productive capacity and your innovative potential.”

Price said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi had an extended discussion on potential implications of Russian action against Ukraine in a phone call last week.

Asked to comment on Price’s remarks, Liu Pengyu, the spokesman for China’s Washington embassy, replied: “We have noted relevant reports. Creating tensions does no good to easing the Ukraine crisis, but only adds more uncertainties to the region and the whole world. China is firmly opposed to this.”

China’s foreign ministry earlier said Wang met with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and expressed “understanding and support” for Russia’s position on security regarding Russia’s relationship with the United States and NATO.

It said both sides coordinated their positions on regional issues of common concern, such as Ukraine, Afghanistan and the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

The U.N. Security Council is due to meet on Friday at the request of the United States and Britain after North Korea’s launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile last weekend.

The United States has been pushing for more international sanctions on North Korea over a recent spate of missile tests, but last month China and Russia delayed a U.S. bid to impose U.N. sanctions on five North Koreans linked to their country’s weapons programs.

Lavrov is in Beijing with President Vladimir Putin, who will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday before attending the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics.

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Mosques to be built at 100 km intervals along major highways across Afghanistan



(Last Updated On: March 31, 2023)

Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, deputy prime minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, said at a cabinet meeting this week that the ministry of public works has been tasked with drawing up a plan to build separate mosques for men and women across the country.

These mosques will be built at intervals of 100 kms along major highways across the country, he said.

He said the mosques will also be built at fuel stations on highways.

In addition, Akhund said the ministries of interior and defense and the general directorate of intelligence have been ordered to inspect the granting of licenses to people for weapons and armored vehicles.

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IEA will be balanced in its politics and relations with all countries: Muttaqi



(Last Updated On: March 31, 2023)

The foreign minister says the Islamic Emirate’s relations with all the neighboring countries and the region are going well, but the country’s relations with Western countries have some problems.

In an interview with an Arabic TV channel, Amir Khan Muttaqi said currently the embassies of neighboring countries and the region are open in Kabul, and the diplomats of the IEA are accepted in many countries.

“Currently, the embassies of neighboring countries and the region such as China, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Russia are open in Kabul,” said Muttaqi.

“Also, India, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Qatar have diplomatic activities, and in addition, the diplomats of the Islamic Emirate are accepted and active in many of these countries. It should be said that Afghanistan has no problems in its relations with neighboring countries and the region, and we only have problems in relations with Western countries,” he added.

Muttaqi criticized America’s interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs, which is against the Doha Agreement, but he emphasized that their meetings continue to help improve relations with the US and progress has been made.

“At the moment, we have relations with the United States, our meetings continue and various and important issues are discussed, and we have many good developments with them,” he said.

He meanwhile emphasized that IEA is in favor of good relations and positive interactions with the international community, but the world should not set preconditions for interaction with the Islamic Emirate.

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IEA hoping to increase the number of soldiers to as many as 200,000 by end of this solar year



(Last Updated On: March 30, 2023)

The Islamic Emirate’s ministry of defense says it plans to increase the number of the country’s national army soldiers from 150,000 to between 170,000 and 200,000 in the current solar year.

Qari Fasihuddin Fetrat, the army chief of staff, said in an interview that the IEA has all the military equipment from the previous government and that the army is ready to fight any potential threat.

“Inshallah, with this number, we can protect the entire territory of Afghanistan, but there is a need for other forces, and we have decided to increase the number of soldiers,” he said.

“In the current [solar] year, we have decided to increase the number of soldiers from 150,000 to 170,000 and slowly it will reach 200,000.”

Fetrat has also stated that reports about the formation of opposition groups outside the country, to stand against the IEA government, are a “dream”.

He emphasized that foreign countries exaggerate the presence of Daesh in Afghanistan and that the group does not have a strong presence in the country.

“Some of the acts of destruction that are carried out in Afghanistan are also carried out in many advanced countries, but despite that, the Islamic Emirate neutralized their efforts and plans,” he said.

“You can see that the security which is in Afghanistan today may not be in Washington,” he added.

In addition, the IEA’s army chief of staff also criticized the US for violating Afghanistan’s air space.

“We are trying to reach a level where the occupation of Afghanistan’s air sovereignty will end and it will be given to the Islamic Emirate,” said Fetrat.

According to him, in addition to the two military units in Bagram and Badakhshan, there are eight military corps including the Central Army Corps in the provinces of Kandahar, Helmand, Paktia, Laghman, Kunduz and Balkh.

He also said soldiers, who worked under the former government, are “perform duties within the framework of the defense ministry.”

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