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World Isolating Afghanistan Could Lead to World Security Threat, Counterterrorism Official Warns

12:40  13 october  2021
12:40  13 october  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

Desperation grows in Washington as fall of Kabul appears increasingly likely in wake of US departure

  Desperation grows in Washington as fall of Kabul appears increasingly likely in wake of US departure ‘A RAPIDLY DETERIORATING SECURITY SITUATION’: Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. diplomat who negotiated the withdrawal deal with the Taliban last year, is back in Doha, Qatar, on a desperate rescue mission, a last-ditch attempt to convince the Taliban to halt their military offensive and to negotiate a political settlement. © Provided by Washington Examiner DOD header 2020 “What we are doing around the clock is seeking to find a way out of this. And here, in this department, in the Department of State, we are focused on the diplomacy,” said spokesman Ned Price.

Qatar's special envoy for counterterrorism and mediation in conflict resolution said Tuesday that countries should engage with Afghanistan's new Taliban rulers, warning that isolating the nation could lead to a wide-reaching security threat, the Associated Press reported.

Qatar's diplomatic pointman suggests countries comply with Taliban new rules instead of isolate. Zahra, 6, plays next to a wall marked by bullet holes at a village in Wardak province, Afghanistan, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021 © Felipe Dana/AP Photo Qatar's diplomatic pointman suggests countries comply with Taliban new rules instead of isolate. Zahra, 6, plays next to a wall marked by bullet holes at a village in Wardak province, Afghanistan, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021

Mutlaq bin Majed al-Qahtani pointed to what happened when Al-Qaeda used Afghanistan as a base to plot the September 11 terror attacks on the U.S. as to why isolation is bad policy.

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Qatar's policies and perception have been closely observed since the U.S. withdrawal because the oil-rich nation has played a large role in war-torn Afghanistan.

"If we are going to disengage and not to engage with them [the Taliban], I think again we are committing the same mistake that we did in 1989...when we abandoned Afghanistan, the Afghan people," al-Qahtani said. "One of the consequences of that action is 9/11, so I think we should learn from this."

Al-Qahtani said he has had discussions with the Taliban about pressing issues related to the role of women in society and the importance of an inclusive government.

The Taliban said the current Afghan government is only interim, but it is composed solely of Taliban figures, several who have been sanctioned by the United Nations.

Dad who fled Afghanistan sues US to reunite with young sons

  Dad who fled Afghanistan sues US to reunite with young sons SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Afghan man was attending a conference in California as part of his job for a U.S.-government funded project in Afghanistan when the Taliban sent a written death threat to his home, forcing him to make a heart-wrenching decision: He would not return to his wife and two young sons and instead would seek asylum and try to bring them to the United States. Two years later, Mohammad said he regrets leaving them, and wished he had never worked for the U.S. government given the price he has paid. As Mohammad tried to get visas for his family, his wife collapsed in 2020 and died of a heart attack while the Taliban threatened them.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

While ruling Afghanistan during the late 1990s, the Taliban sheltered Al-Qaeda and its chief, Osama bin Laden. Their refusal to hand over bin Laden and other Al-Qaeda members after the September 11 terror attacks prompted the U.S. to launch a military assault which ousted the Taliban and led to a 20-year war in Afghanistan.

Al-Qahtani argued that Taliban officials who have been residing in Qatar, where the group has had a political office since 2013, were positively impacted in their thinking by their interactions with Western diplomats and others over the years.

How to engage with the Taliban remains an issue for nations around the world. During their previous time in power in the late 1990s, only three nations recognized the Taliban's rule of Afghanistan. No country has yet announced formal recognition this time around, though neighboring Pakistan has also encouraged engagement with the Taliban.

Afghans in a city under siege by the Taliban: ‘The insecurity has upended our lives’

  Afghans in a city under siege by the Taliban: ‘The insecurity has upended our lives’ As the militant group tightened its grip on the area, many residents of the western city of Herat worry about what the future holds.Thousands of families have been forced to leave their homes in Afghanistan over the past few months as fighting between the Taliban and Afghan security forces intensified.

At a virtual meeting on Afghanistan by the Group of 20 industrial and emerging-market nations nations on Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the international community should keep channels of dialogue with the Taliban open. That's in order to "patiently and gradually steer" it toward establishing a more inclusive government, he said.

Erdogan said Turkey, which is a close ally of Qatar and which already hosts more than 3.6 million Syrians, cannot burden an influx of migrants from Afghanistan, warning that European nations would also be affected by a new wave of migrants.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he wants the G-20 nations to set conditions for recognizing the Taliban, including ensuring women's rights. That sentiment was echoed by nations in meetings on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

The Taliban have only allowed young Afghan girls and boys of all ages to return to primary school, but older girls have been barred from going to high school and most women have not been allowed to return to work. Male and female students have been allowed back to university, but are being segregated.

Afghan forces fold as rapid Taliban advances test will of government troops

  Afghan forces fold as rapid Taliban advances test will of government troops WE’VE SEEN THIS MOVIE BEFORE: The rapid territorial gains of the Taliban in Afghanistan has eerie echoes of the 2014-2015 ISIS takeover of much of Iraq. Then, as now, a vastly smaller, ideologically driven force defeated a numerically superior and better equipped U.S.-trained Army by breaking the will of their enemy. © Provided by Washington Examiner DOD header 2020 As of this morning, at least four provincial capitals have fallen to the Taliban over the past four days, and the key northern city of Kunduz appears to be the fifth.

Al-Qahtani said that in conversations with the Taliban, Qatar has said that Islam supports the rights of both men and women to work and learn.

Another urgent issue facing Afghanistan is hunger, poverty and access to the world's financial system now that the Taliban is in power. Aid organizations warn the nation of nearly 40 million people faces total poverty and hunger as winter approaches.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said the Afghan people should not suffer a collective punishment because of the Taliban, urging the continued flow of humanitarian aid.

A humanitarian official told AP that the Taliban has been moving aid through with a large degree of transparency with no evidence seen of corruption, which had hurt aid distribution during the previous U.S.-propped Afghan government. The official spoke anonymously to discuss ongoing aid operations.

Al-Qahtani, too, said the Taliban have been cooperative in terms of facilitating humanitarian assistance to the country.

After their meeting with U.S. officials in Doha on Sunday, the Taliban said the U.S. agreed to provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. The U.S. statement was less definitive, saying only that the two sides "discussed the United States' provision of robust humanitarian assistance, directly to the Afghan people."

Amid flurry of Taliban diplomacy, Qatar stresses engagement

  Amid flurry of Taliban diplomacy, Qatar stresses engagement DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Qatar's foreign minister said isolating Afghanistan and its new Taliban rulers “will never be an answer” and argued Wednesday that engaging with the former insurgents could empower the more moderate voices among them. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani spoke amid a flurry of diplomatic meetings taking place in Qatar, where the Taliban have maintained a political office for years in the lead-up to their takeover of Afghanistan in August. The world has been looking to see how the Taliban transition from two decades of insurgency and war to governance after they seized control of Kabul and the rest of Afghanistan as U.S.

The European Union announced a 1 billion euro ($1.15 million) support package for the Afghan people on Tuesday.

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From exile, female former Afghan leader keeps fighting .
NEW YORK (AP) — Two months after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, one of the country’s once-prominent female leaders — a former parliament member, candidate for president and a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize — is visiting the United Nations, not as a representative of her government but as a woman in exile. In an interview with The Associated Press, Fawzia Koofi called for humanitarian aid sent to Afghanistan to be contingent on the participation of women in its distribution, as well as free and safe travel for Afghans into and out of the country.

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