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UNAMA: All Afghan parties should work together to resolve their differences peacefully

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(Last Updated On: April 1, 2020)

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan is urging all Afghan parties to work together to resolve their differences peacefully for the good of the people of Afghanistan, said Ms. Ingrid Hayden the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and OIC UNAMA.

Ms. Hayden started her speech for the members of Security Council on March 31 with talking about the crucial moment in the history of Afghanistan saying that “Afghanistan appears to be reaching a defining moment. Almost two decades after the start of the coalition intervention, the question for the Islamic Republic now is: can its leaders rally together to engage in meaningful talks with the Taliban to achieve a sustainable peace?”

She then talked about the Afghan presidential election, saying, “Afghanistan’s presidential election, which took place on 28 September of last year, was a protracted process. The reasons why are well-documented, but now is not the time for acrimony.  The issue at hand is preserving the Islamic Republic and advancing the values its Constitution enshrines.”

About the parallel inauguration ceremonies held by Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah Ms. Hayden said, “This prompted serious concerns in many quarters, Afghans and internationals alike, of the potential for a dangerous miscalculation which could have long-lasting implications for the future of the Republic.”

Ms. Hayden added, “As I speak, this impasse continues, despite intensive engagement by key stakeholders, particularly the United States, regional actors and Afghan political leaders, aimed at ending the brinkmanship.”

Following the political turmoil, the US decided to reduce its assistance by 1 bn USD for 2020 and their preparedness to the same the year after if the political conflict continues in Afghanistan.

Ms. Hayden underlined that Afghanistan is heavily relying on donor funding, and the US fund cut could have severe consequences for “Afghanistan’s fiscal viability” and “socio-economic outcomes in the country.”

Speaking about the continued investment and international funding in the crucial situation of COVID-19, Ms. Hayden stated that Afghanistan should demonstrate a “compelling case

Now, with the onslaught of COVID-19, many donors are likely to turn inwards to meet the needs of their own population. Afghanistan needs to demonstrate a “compelling case for the continued investment of international resources.”

She also said, “UNAMA is urging all Afghan parties to work together to resolve their differences peacefully for the good of the people of Afghanistan. Now is not the time for divisions. Now is the time for statesmanship, accommodation and inclusivity. The interests of Afghans must come first – including the rights of all women, minorities and youth.”

To resolve the conflict, according to Ms. Hayden is a profound responsibility for all the Afghan leaders.

Ms. Hayden called the agreement between the Afghan laterals on a diverse negotiation team “heartening” amid the political impasse.

She then talked about the importance of women taking part in the Intra-Afghan Talks saying that “It is an important recognition that women can and must be involved in reaching any sustainable and lasting peace in Afghanistan.”

UNAMA has encouraged the Taliban to reciprocate by including women in their delegation who have an empowered decisive voice at the table. Doing so would send a tangible signal that the movement has fundamentally reformed, Ms. Hayden underlined.

She also stated that all sides were urged to take concrete steps to make the prospect of Intra-Afghan negotiations a reality.

Having announced its negotiating team, the Islamic Republic has the weighty task of equipping its negotiators with the necessary skills to help frame its agenda, and the necessary principles to secure and advance the rights of its citizens, said Ms. Hayden.

Hayden also talked about the recent developments on the prisoner release saying, “If carefully managed, could form an important confidence-building measure to start the peace process.”

UNAMA also welcomed the three teleconferences between the Taliban and the Afghan government and urged the parties to resolve the prisoner release issue swiftly in accordance with international law.

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UN Security Council temporarily lifts travel ban on senior IEA official

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(Last Updated On: December 5, 2022)

The UN Security Council has lifted the travel ban on the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) acting Minister of Information and Culture, Mullah Khairullah Khairkhah, for a period of 10 days, so he can attend an event in Russia, officials in Afghanistan stated.

The UN Security Council failed to extend a travel ban exemption on Khairkhah along with other IEA officials two months ago.

This latest temporary travel ban exemption is said to have come into effect on December 1 and will run through until December 10, allowing Khairkhah to travel to Kazan, the capital of the Russian Federation’s Republic of Tatarstan.

Khairkhah was formerly imprisoned in Guantanamo and was released in 2014 in exchange for an American soldier.

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Migration to Germany to hit 1.2 million in 2022: report

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(Last Updated On: December 5, 2022)

More people will have sought refuge in Germany in 2022 than at the height of the European migrant crisis, Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported Sunday.

The newspaper said the country is on course to see 1.2 million new arrivals this year — a 35% increase from 2015 when 890,000 migrants and refugees, mainly fleeing the Syrian war, came to the country.

This year’s tally was calculated from the more than a million Ukrainian refugees welcomed in Germany since Russia’s invasion unfolded in February and an expected 200,000 asylum seekers by the end of the year.

By the end of October, some 181,612 asylum applications were recorded, Welt am Sonntag reported, mostly from Syrian, Afghan, Turkish and Iraqi nationals.

Municipalities face resource squeeze

German municipalities are reported to have reached their limit in processing such a large number of new arrivals, sparking concern from politicians like Armin Schuster, the interior minister for the eastern state of Saxony.

“We are approaching 200,000 asylum seekers this year. In the last legislature, this number was defined as the upper limit,” Schuster told the paper. While he said his state continues to “stand up for Ukraine, no ifs or buts,” any free capacity will soon be exhausted.

German MEP Manfred Weber warned of a “dramatic winter of refuge,” referring to an expected increase in migrant and refugee arrivals during the winter months.

Some analysts have warned that hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians could flee the country as Russian forces continue to target the country’s energy infrastructure, sparking widespread power cuts during the winter cold.

“Germany is currently sleepwalking into a new migration crisis,” Weber warned, noting a similar pressure on authorities in the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria.

Last month, the EU refugee agency said asylum applications had reached a new post-2015 high.

The government said it was supporting states and municipalities with €3.5 billion ($3.69 billion) this year, with another €2.75 billion earmarked for 2023, and has provided more than 67,000 spaces for accommodation.

Schuster said Germany’s migration policy needed more than just “warm words” and called for “a noticeable braking effect on asylum access via the East Mediterranean route,” referring to how many migrants arrive in EU territory via Turkey and Greece.

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Anas Haqqani and Yaqoob Mujahid meet Afghans in UAE

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(Last Updated On: December 5, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) defense minister Mawlavi Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid met with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, at the Al Shati Royal Palace in Abu Dhabi, on Sunday.

According to the ministry the two dignitaries discussed issues of mutual interest.

Mujahid, along with Anas Haqqani, also met with Afghans living in the UAE where he asked them to return home.

In a meeting with the Afghans, he said that he would speak with senior UAE officials about improving ties between the two countries and on resolving challenges the Afghans face.

“We will meet with the relevant officials if there is a visa problem, an issue with flights, or problems with prisoners. Even if there are problems inside Afghanistan, for example, passport problems or other problems, I will try to deal with these cases to the best of my ability without delay,” the defense minister said.

“We must remove discrimination from our minds. In the minds of the new generation, we must remember that all ethnic groups are citizens of Afghanistan and have rights in Afghanistan,” he also told Afghans at the meeting.

According to Mujahid, Afghanistan is the home of all Afghans, and that: ”Afghans should invest in their country and we should all contribute to the country’s prosperity, and development.”

Meanwhile, Anas Haqqani, a senior member of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), who is also in the UAE, told Afghans living in Dubai that the purpose of the IEA’s visit was to address their problems.

“The Islamic Emirate is working on long-term plans, ” he said, adding “with the grace and support of Allah, we are building Afghanistan.”

According to him, Afghanistan has just emerged from war and now there is security in the country.

Meanwhile, the spokesman of the Islamic Emirate said that the delegation will meet with the leadership of the UAE to discuss a range of issues.

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