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UN delegation meets with Haqqani over ban on female aid workers

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(Last Updated On: January 3, 2023)

The United Nations said its envoy to Afghanistan had pressed the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) rulers Monday to reverse bans on work and education for women and girls to prevent further isolation of the crisis-ridden country.

Markus Potzel, the acting head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), conveyed the international community’s call in a meeting in Kabul with IEA’s Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani.

“The ban on Afghan women aid workers will deepen the humanitarian crisis creating greater economic misery and further Afghanistan’s isolation,” UNAMA tweeted after the meeting.

Haqqani’s office confirmed in a post-meeting statement that Potzel shared his concerns about the education of girls and the imposition of other restrictions.

“Efforts are being made to solve the problems,” and that “a reasonable and permanent solution is being worked on which is compatible with Sharia rules and the culture of our people,” Haqqani was quoted as telling the UN delegation.

The restriction on women aid workers has prompted the U.N. to temporarily halt some “time-critical” programs, and several of the largest foreign NGOs have suspended their operations, saying they cannot reach the millions of children, women and men in need of assistance without female staff.

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Afghan national arrested over death of three women in Austria

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(Last Updated On: February 25, 2024)

Austrian police have arrested a 27-year-old Afghan national suspected of killing three women in a brothel in the capital, Vienna, on Friday.

BBC News reported that the victims were stabbed to death, and the suspect was found hiding near the brothel with a knife in his hand.

The motive for the killings is currently unclear but the man has been questioned.

Another woman and her daughter were killed in an unrelated incident in Vienna in a 24-hour period. Investigators believe the girl’s father was responsible.

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Acting FM Muttaqi leaves for Turkmenistan

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(Last Updated On: February 25, 2024)

Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Amir Khan Muttaqi has left for Turkmenistan for talks with officials of the neighboring country, it was announced Sunday.

Hafiz Zia Ahmad, Deputy Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on his X that Muttaqi, leading a delegation, traveled to Turkmenistan at the invitation of Rashid Murdov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, to discuss bilateral issues.

The delegation includes also officials of the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, Railway Authority and Da Afghanistan Brehshna Sherkat.

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China regrets UN Doha meeting’s failure to have dialogue with IEA

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(Last Updated On: February 24, 2024)

China’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Yue Xiaoyong, on Saturday regretted that the United Nations’ meeting in Doha on Afghanistan earlier this week failed to have dialogue with the Islamic Emirate.

Yue said on X that the meeting was useful for exchange of views and it made a call for more pragmatic engagement and dialogue with Afghanistan.

“Pity is Doha Afghanistan meeting again failed to have dialogu with Afghan interim government or DFA (IEA) as China and regional countries have been calling,” Yue said.

The envoy said that China called more humanitarian assistance, moderate governance, and women and girls’ education.

China also called on US take major responsibility for Afghanistan’s reconstruction, unfreeze Afghanistan’s overseas assets and lift unilateral sanctions.

China also stressed that it is ready to work harder with UN and regional partners especially through Afghanistan’s nonboring countries foreign ministerial meeting and other platforms to enhance engagement with Afghanistan to help for its peace, stability, reconstruction and common prosperity.

The UN had extended an invitation for IEA officials to participate, following their exclusion from the first meeting in May.

However, the Kabul government said they would not participate in the talks unless they could be the sole representative of Afghanistan at the meetings — to the exclusion of civil society groups.

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