Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, head of the Vietnam Mission to the United Nations, reaffirmed Vietnam’s backing for Afghan-led peace process and called for parties involved to promote the implementation of the peace process.
Addressing the UN Security Council’s June 25 briefing on the Afghanistan situation, Ambassador Quy stressed the importance of maintaining the implementation of the council’s Resolution 2513 supporting the February 29 Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan.
He voiced concern over attacks by Taliban and terrorists, while calling for efforts to improve the security situation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change impact in Afghanistan.
The diplomat also expressed his hope for active engagement of women in the peace process, while emphasising the importance of fostering reconstruction, protecting the rights of vulnerable groups and stepping up crime and drug prevention efforts.
The Deputy Minister of Information and Culture of Afghanistan stated that Kabul is eager to continue friendly and fraternal relations with Tehran.
“In this context, we are looking for ways in which incidents such as Hariroud and Yazd are not repeated and the ground for such incidents is not provided,” Mohammad Rasoul Bawari said.
It was recently reported in the media and cyberspace that some Afghan migrants were killed in the Harirud River and on the other hand, the police commander of Yazd province reported that a car carrying foreign nationals collided with a road guard and the car was set on fire, killing and injuring several people.
Bawari, who arrived in Iran accompanying Afghan Acting Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar, in an interview with IRNA spoke about the role of the Iranian and Afghan media in strengthening relations between the two countries and expressed regret over the incidents, calling for maintaining close ties with Iran.
Officials of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries have announced that exports of Afghan products to European countries via air corridors have resumed.
According to the officials, 29 tons of goods, including dried and fresh fruits, rugs, and medicinal herbs, were exported to the European markets through Turkish Airline.
As per Wasdam report, the current pandemic has posed a major threat to the Afghan economy and slashed economic output 17% by 2023, according to a report by the UNDP. The report further adds that COVID-19 could cause an economic contraction of 4% in 2020 alone.
The impacts of COVID-19 are more exacerbated in developing countries like Afghanistan where there’s limited health care system, weak infrastructure, and poor social cohesion.
The UN’s top envoy in Afghanistan said the country now has a unique opportunity to turn the corner to a brighter, more stable future after four decades of war.
Deborah Lyons told the Security Council that even as an unprecedented global pandemic threatens to unravel many of the hard-won socio-economic gains Afghanistan has made over the years, there is now a moment of “emerging hope.”
The UN envoy, who is the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, said she is “cautiously optimistic” that the talks between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban negotiation teams will start in the next few weeks in Doha.
“As the two sides embark on what will likely be a long and complex series of talks, I have encouraged them to show the necessary flexibility and foresight, the commitment to peace and, most importantly, compassion for their people that will be needed to bring these negotiations to a successful conclusion,” she told the Security Council.
Lyons, who is also head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), described how the formal announcement of a three-day Eid ceasefire by the Taliban and the Government led to a welcome and much-needed reduction in violence.
“A reduction in violence is essential to an environment conducive for peace talks and to pave the way for an eventual permanent ceasefire,” she stressed, telling the Security Council that the United Nations stands ready to support direct peace talks and noting that she has been in discussion with both sides to identify and address their needs, going forward.
The UN envoy described how she has engaged with partners from the region and beyond, and said she is confident that a constructive atmosphere for the peace process can be fostered. But at the same time as new opportunities for emerge, she said, COVID-19 is casting a shadow over daily life in Afghanistan.
US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Kelly Craft called on both sides to build on the momentum they created with the Eid ceasefire and accelerated prisoner releases – to reduce violence, to continue to release prisoners, and to work pragmatically toward agreement on the modalities of negotiations.
“We reiterate to the Afghan government and the Taliban the importance and benefits of incorporating women’s rights and participation in all aspects of the peace process – as well as the participation of other underrepresented groups,” said ambassador Craft at a UN Security Council Briefing on the Situation in Afghanistan (via VTC).
“we recognize the work of UNAMA in supporting the Afghan people in creating an environment conducive to the intra-Afghan negotiations,” she said.
She further added that The United States remains committed to ensuring that terrorist organizations are never again able to use Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States or its allies, and we look forward to continuing our work with SRSG Lyons to advance peace and stability in Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Public Health said 276 positive Coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the country in the past 24 hours, pushing Afghanistan’s total to 30,451 cases.
They reported the deaths of 8 people and recoveries of 132 patients, taking those tallies to 683 dead and 10,306 recovered cases.
New cases were reported in the provinces of Herat (27), Kabul (71), Balkh (17), Takhar (25), Badakhshan (7), Paktia (27), Laghman (8), Nangarhar (10), Kunar (3) and Wardak (2) Bamyan (23), Kunduz (20), Kandahar (12), Zabul (7), Uruzgan (6), Kunar (3), Panjshir (2), Loagar (2).
There are a number of cases who are in serious condition.