UNICEF director visits girls school; says ‘education must be above politics’
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has expressed concern about the continued closure of secondary and high schools for girls in Afghanistan, saying “education should not be held hostage to politics.”
On Saturday, Paloma Escudero, UNICEF’s Director of Global Support and Communications, visited a girls primary school in Kabul and said it has been more than a month since girls over the sixth grade in Afghanistan have been denied the right to education.
Escudero said that female students need help more than ever and called on the international community, especially donors, not to stop helping girls in this country.
According to her, the United Nations continues to assist in continuing the education of Afghan girls and emphasizes that education for girls is one of the priorities of the United Nations Children’s Fund in Afghanistan.
Escudero said the organization pays the salaries of about 200,000 teachers a month in Afghanistan and provides 35 million textbooks for Afghan girls.
“This is the time when girls need us the most. They go to school every day. They want to learn. They told me they wanted to be a doctor, an engineer and a teacher.”
Earlier, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned that continuing to close girls’ schools would harm the whole of Afghanistan.
The US State Department has also said that political and economic progress cannot be made if half the population of a country is deprived of education.
Iran holds ‘good negotiations’ with IEA over water rights
Iran’s foreign minister has said that Tehran had “good negotiations” with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) over the issue of water rights.
“We have the water rights issue on the agenda, and the [Iranian] president has assigned Hassan Kazemi Qomi [Iranian ambassador to Afghanistan] to follow up on the matter, with the view that the issues between the two countries should go in the direct direction and be resolved,” Hossein Amir Abdollahian told Iranian state media.
On the recent border clash, he said that the clash did not have any agenda, and the situation in Afghanistan is understandable for Iran.
Tensions between Iran and IEA escalated after Tehran accused Kabul of restricting the flow of water to Iran.
The tensions began last month after Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi warned the IEA needs to “honor” Iran’s rights over the Helmand River.
IEA officials have stressed that they are committed to the 1973 water treaty between Iran and Afghanistan, but there is a lack of water due to drought.
EU-Central Asia summit calls for inclusive government in Afghanistan
Leaders of Central Asian countries and the EU chief met in Kyrgyzstan on Friday, where they discussed Afghanistan among other issues.
The meeting in Cholpon Ata was attended by the leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, and a delegation from Turkmenistan.
On Afghanistan, the participants discussed common concerns over the deteriorating situation in the country and reaffirmed their commitment to see the country develop into a secure, peaceful, stable, prosperous country, according to a joint communique.
The leaders also recognised the efforts of the international community to assist the people of Afghanistan in a principled manner and in accordance with international law and universally recognized norms and principles, despite difficult circumstances.
Participants also called on the international community to step up humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan and noted the key role of the UN in providing humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan in a principled manner.
They underlined the importance of the establishment of an inclusive and representative government and the importance of promotion of and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Afghans citizens, in particular women, girls and ethnic groups.
IEA special forces kill key Daesh commander in eastern Afghanistan
The Islamic Emirate’s special forces in an operation on Wednesday killed a top Daesh commander along with his accomplice in eastern Nangarhar province, state-run Bakhtar news agency reported.
This Daesh commander’s name was reportedly “Turab”.
The operation was conducted on Wednesday evening in Wuch Tangi village of Shiwa district in eastern Nangarhar province, according to the provincial officials reported by Bakhtar news agency.
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