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US State Dept reiterates Istanbul was not meant to replace Doha talks

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(Last Updated On: April 21, 2021)

The US State Department’s spokesman Ned Price said on Tuesday night that the Istanbul Conference was never meant to replace the Doha talks but rather it was part of a broader diplomatic effort to secure a political settlement.

Addressing a press conference, Price said the Doha talks “is an effort that continues to be ongoing and it’s an effort where we will continue to invest our resources, our political heft, knowing again that only through diplomacy, only through a political settlement, an Afghan-owned, Afghan-led process, will we be able to help support bringing peace, stability, and security to the people of Afghanistan.”

Soon after Price’s press conference, word spread that the Istanbul Conference had been postponed.This was confirmed on Wednesday morning by the three co-hosts, United Nations, Turkey and Qatar, in a statement.

“In view of recent developments, and after extensive consultations with the parties, it has been agreed to postpone the conference to a later date when conditions for making meaningful progress would be more favorable,” the statement read.

Price meanwhile again pointed out that the Biden administration is in no doubt that there is no military solution to the situation in Afghanistan.

He said: “The conference in Istanbul is part of that broader effort, that broader diplomatic engagement. We are grateful to the hosts – Turkey, Qatar, and the UN – for convening it. I would need to refer to them when it comes to the current status of that timing of it or timing of it going forward.”

The postponement comes after the Taliban’s announcement last week that they would not attend any peace conference until all foreign troops had withdrawn from the country.

Their announcement followed closely on the heels of US President Joe Biden and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s announcement that all foreign troops would be out of Afghanistan by September 11.

The Taliban said however this was in contravention of the US-Taliban agreement signed in Doha last year which stipulated foreign troops need to leave by May 1.

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US understands importance of Chabahar Port for Afghanistan: India

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(Last Updated On: May 18, 2024)

The United States understands the importance of Chabahar Port for continued humanitarian supplies to Afghanistan and to provide the country economic alternatives, India’s foreign ministry said on Friday.

 India recently signed a 10-year agreement to develop and operate Iran’s strategic Chabahar Port as New Delhi aims to boost trade ties with landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asian countries, bypassing ports in its western neighbour and arch foe Pakistan.

But the deal has prompted a thinly veiled threat of sanctions from the United States, with whom India has developed close economic and military ties in recent decades.

India’s foreign ministry spokesman, Randhir Jaiswal, noted that since 2018, India has supplied 85,000 metric tons of wheat, 200 metric tons of pulses and 40,000 litres of pesticide Malathion to Afghanistan through Chabahar Port.

“The United States also has an understanding…understands the importance of Chabahar Port for continued humanitarian supplies to Afghanistan and to provide Afghanistan economic alternatives,” he said in a press conference.

“Our External Affairs Minister also spoke on this matter in several forums recently, where he said that we should not take a narrow view of this particular project, it has an important role to play as far as the region is concerned, connectivity is concerned, particularly for the landlocked countries in the area,” he added.

He also said that Russia‘s special envoy to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, met with an Indian delegation led by Joint Secretary, J.P. Singh, who looks after Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, in the Ministry of External Affairs, essentially exchange of views on the ground and the situation and how the two countries look at the situation.

He said that they emphasized on the need to provide development assistance and humanitarian support to the people of Afghanistan.

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Nicaragua president sends letter of condolence to IEA leader after floods

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(Last Updated On: May 18, 2024)

The Afghan Embassy in China announced Saturday that the President of Nicaragua has sent a letter of condolence to the leader of the Islamic Emirate, Mawlawi Hebatullah Akhundzada, following the recent deadly floods in Afghanistan.

Based on the embassy’s statement, the letter was handed over by Michael Campbell, the Nicaraguan ambassador to China, to Bilal Karimi, the Afghan ambassador to China.

In the letter, Nicaragua president, Daniel Ortega, while expressing his sympathy over the floods, expressed his interest in establishing good relations with the Islamic Emirate and cooperation in various fields.

The Nicaraguan ambassador stated that the Nicaraguan people, like the Afghans, achieved independence after a hard struggle against the colonialists, which is a common point between the two countries.

Meanwhile, Bilal Karimi, Afghanistan’s ambassador to China, has said that he will convey the condolence letter of the President of Nicaragua to the leader of the Islamic Emirate. He also assured of maintaining good relations with the country.

Karimi emphasized that all Latin American countries are important, but Nicaragua’s taking the initiative is a positive and admirable move.

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UN Doha meeting should reflect realities of Afghanistan: Iranian envoy

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(Last Updated On: May 18, 2024)

Iran’s special representative for Afghanistan, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, said in a meeting with his Italian counterpart that the next UN-convened meeting on Afghanistan should reflect the realities of the country.

Qomi said that Tehran is ready to work with Europe on the development of a comprehensive cooperation plan for Afghanistan based on the consultations it has conducted.

He added that the topics of the third meeting of special envoys on Afghanistan in Doha should be based on the realities of the region and Afghanistan.

“The actions of countries outside the region have not been useful in solving the crisis and challenges of Afghanistan so far, and if this situation continues, Europe will also be plagued by the problems,” he said.

The last meeting of the United Nations on Afghanistan was held in Doha in February this year, but it failed to achieve its primary objectives.

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