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We need to stand up against terror in Afghanistan: NATO chief

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(Last Updated On: November 4, 2021)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday that while the alliance’s military presence in Afghanistan for 20 years had not been in vain, there are lessons they need to learn from this time.

He also said “wrongful conclusions” should not be drawn from their military presence in Afghanistan as experience garnered might come in useful in the future.

He said NATO is facing the threat of terrorist attacks and that the alliance needs to be at the forefront of this to combat any such incidents.

“Our presence in Afghanistan was not in vain; we defeated al-Qaeda; for 20 years we have prevented new terrorist attacks against our countries, organized from Afghanistan, but our presence in Afghanistan is also something that reminds us of what it means to go in with a military presence.

“We need to learn the lessons, but we should not draw wrongful conclusions from our military presence in Afghanistan. There may be future situations where we need to stand up against terror as we did among other things in Iraq and Syria when we defeated ISIS and liberated the areas under their control,” said Stoltenberg.

He went on to say that the alliance’s main goal in Afghanistan had been to defeat al-Qaeda and that over the past two decades, there have been no terrorist attacks against foreign countries that had been organized in Afghanistan.

“Now after having pulled out we must still try to safeguard that situation; that will not be easy; but it is not as if that means that it was wrong to prevent more terrorist attacks,” added Stoltenberg.

Afghans meanwhile voiced their concerns about Afghanistan’s future after the country’s largest military medical facility, in the center of Kabul, came under attack by Deash (ISIS-K) on Tuesday.

“The situation is not under our control completely, other countries interfere in our internal affairs, and they (other coutries) are responsible for all the explosions and suicide attacks,” said Mohammad Rahim, a Kabul resident.

“If Taliban (IEA) does not stop Daesh they will become stronger and will be a big threat to Afghanistan in the future,” said Shamsuddin, another Kabul resident.

This comes as India plans to meet with Afghan officials in the next week.

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Afghanistan announces aid for quake-hit Turkey and Syria

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(Last Updated On: February 7, 2023)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) on Tuesday announced AFN 15 million (approx. $166,000 USD) in humanitarian aid for people affected by recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

Of the total, AFN 10 million (approx. $111,000) will be for Turkey, and AFN 5 million (approx. $55,000) will be for Syria.

The Foreign Ministry in a statement said that IEA stands in solidarity with its brothers and sisters in this time of hardship.

It added that the aid is on the basis of “shared humanity and Islamic brotherhood.”

The statement also said that IEA emergency response and health teams stand ready to participate in rescue operations to assist the affected people if called upon.

The ministry instructed its diplomatic mission in Turkey to not spare any efforts in assisting the victims, and urged Turkey-based Afghan citizens to help with the relief efforts.

Thousands have been killed in Monday’s earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a three-month state of emergency across 10 provinces worst affected by the earthquakes.

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28 million Afghans are in dire need of humanitarian aid: UNICEF

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(Last Updated On: February 7, 2023)

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has announced that Afghanistan needs immediate humanitarian aid.

UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Omar Abdi on Monday said that Afghanistan is experiencing the worst period over the past two decades.

Abdi said on Twitter that humanitarian needs are felt now more than ever before in Afghanistan, and has warned that disruptions of aid will lead to a humanitarian catastrophe in the war-torn country, already plagued with critical challenges.

“Some 28 million Afghans are in dire need of humanitarian aid, which needs the immediate attention of the international community, partners, and Taliban’s caretaker government,” Abdi said.

During his visit with Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore reiterated that the organization is committed to carrying on its much-needed operations in the areas of education, healthcare, and children’s vaccinations in Afghanistan.

Previously, UNICEF announced that Afghanistan is among the eight most hunger-hit countries in the world.

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Iran’s top security official leaves for Russia to attend Afghanistan meeting

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(Last Updated On: February 7, 2023)

The Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani has left the country for Russia to attend a summit that will focus on the political, economic and security situation in Afghanistan.

Shamkhani will join top security officials from Central Asian countries, Pakistan, India and China for a meeting planned for Wednesday in the Russian capital Moscow as part of the fifth round of the multilateral talks on Afghanistan.

The previous edition of the conference had been held in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe in May 2022.

Indian capital of New Delhi had hosted the third round of the initiative in 2021 two years after it was launched in Tehran.

Shamkhani is also scheduled to hold meetings with his counterparts from other countries, including Russia’s top security official.

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