Inclusive govt essential to sustainable peace in Afghanistan: Russian FM

Untold India October 21, 2021

MOSCOW: Forming an inclusive government that reflects the interests of all ethnic groups and political forces is necessary to achieve a sustainable peace in Afghanistan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday. “We note the efforts the Taliban is making to stabilise the military-political situation,” Lavrov said at the third meeting of the Moscow format of consultations on Afghanistan, Xinhua news agency reported. However, the lack of international recognition of the Taliban, economic woes and humanitarian challenges illustrate instability in the country, he said. The minister also pointed to threats from terrorist groups, primarily the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, and the “acute problem” of drug production. Lavrov called on the Taliban to prevent anyone from using Afghan territory against third countries, especially against Afghanistan’s immediate neighbours. He urged the international community to provide Afghanistan with effective financial, economic and humanitarian assistance, and the United Nations should play a central coordinating role. Acting Deputy Prime Minister of the Afghan Taliban’s interim government Abdul Salam Hanafi said the Taliban seeks to build good relations with its neighbours and all other countries. Afghanistan’s Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said that the current government would not allow its land to be used against other countries. Representatives from 10 countries attended the multilateral talks in Moscow, and the Taliban delegation was led by Hanafi. — IANS

continue reading

Bangladesh premier laments ‘burden’ of Rohingya refugees

Untold India October 20, 2021

DHAKA, Bangladesh: In a sharp reversal, Bangladesh’s premier on Sunday lamented the “burden” of over a million Rohingya refugees who fled Myanmar to live in camps in their western neighbor. “They have become a huge burden for Bangladesh,” Sheikh Hasina said, speaking while meeting Anne Gerard Van Leeuwen, the new Dutch ambassador in the capital Dhaka. She expressed concerns over the ecological destruction in the country’s southern tourist hub district of Cox’s Bazar, where the refugee camps are located. After the influx of Rohingya in August 2017, Bangladesh opened its border to the persecuted people, and Hasina declared that her country of nearly 170 million people is capable of hosting an additional one million Rohingya. Hasina also expressed frustration over the lack of progress in repatriating the Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar, despite it having been more than four years since the massive exodus began. According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in 2017, pushing the number of persecuted people in Bangladesh above 1.2 million. Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed while more than 34,000 were thrown into fires, over 114,000 beaten, as many as 18,000 Rohingya women and girls raped, over 115,000 Rohingya homes burned down, and 113,000 others vandalized by Myanmar state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency.-AA

continue reading