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Taliban leaders meet with UK, Iran delegations amid financial…

Kabul: Afghanistan’s Taliban leaders met Tuesday with U.Okay. officers for the primary time since taking energy, a transfer the group hopes will pave the best way for the nation to refill cash-starved coffers because it teeters getting ready to financial collapse.

The Taliban stated in the meantime they arrested 11 members of the rival Islamic State group.

 

The Taliban’s assembly with British diplomats within the capital Kabul got here a day after they met with an Iranian delegation — one other first since assuming the helm — to debate commerce relations, a key driver of Afghanistan’s financial system.

The Taliban met with Sir Simon Gass, the British prime minister’s excessive consultant for Afghan transition, and Martin Longden, the chargé d’affaires of the U.Okay. mission to Afghanistan in Doha.

The assembly marked Britain’s first diplomatic go to to the nation for the reason that Taliban seized Kabul on Aug. 15, and took management of Afghanistan following the U.S. exit.

 

After the assembly, Longden tweeted that “substantial discussions” have been held with the Taliban management masking a variety of matters, together with the humanitarian disaster, terrorism and the significance for protected passage for U.Okay. and Afghan nationals, and the rights of ladies and ladies.

He fell wanting recognizing their authorities formally, a Taliban want, and described the assembly as a “test.”

“It’s early days and unsurprisingly, there are points of difference between us. But such difficult challenges lie ahead for Afghanistan (and beyond),” he tweeted. “It’s right to test if we can engage pragmatically and find common ground — in the interests of both the UK and Afghan peoples.”

 

In a press release, the Taliban stated it was dedicated to good relations with all international locations. “In return, we want the international community to return the cash capital of the Afghan nation to our nation,” it stated, referring to billions in Afghan belongings frozen in U.S. accounts.

The Taliban met Monday with a delegation from neighboring Iran to control commerce between the international locations, Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi stated. They agreed to extend buying and selling hours on the Islam Qala border crossing from eight hours per day to 24 and to higher regulate the gathering of tariffs and enhance roadworks. Customs are a key supply of home income for Afghanistan.

 

Afghanistan, an aid-dependent nation, is grappling with a liquidity disaster as belongings stay frozen within the U.S. and disbursements from worldwide organizations that when accounted for 75% of state spending have been paused.

In the meantime, Taliban officers stated Tuesday they arrested 11 members of the Islamic State group, a rival and bitter enemy of the insurgents, in Kabul. The IS affiliate — based mostly in japanese Nangarhar province — has claimed accountability for a spate of latest assaults focusing on Taliban forces in japanese Afghanistan and elsewhere.

 

Karimi posted on Twitter that the raid was carried out Sunday evening within the Afghan capital’s Fifth Police District. He supplied no additional particulars. The raid got here simply hours after a bombing that focused the Eid Gah Mosque in Kabul, killing a minimum of 5 folks.

IS claimed accountability for the mosque assault late Monday, saying in a posting by its Amaq information company that one among its suicide bombers focused senior Taliban figures following a mourning service.

Sunday’s bombing was the deadliest assault in Kabul for the reason that Taliban took management of Afghanistan with the chaotic departure of the final U.S. troops on Aug. 31. IS had additionally claimed accountability for the horrific bombing on Aug. 26 that killed greater than 169 Afghans and 13 U.S. navy personnel exterior the Kabul airport, the place 1000’s of individuals have been attempting to succeed in the airport to flee Taliban rule.

 

The world has been watching whether or not the Taliban will reside as much as their preliminary guarantees of tolerance and inclusiveness towards ladies and ethnic minorities. Nevertheless, Taliban actions thus far, reminiscent of renewed restrictions on ladies and the appointment of an all-male authorities, have been met with dismay by the worldwide neighborhood.

Protests in opposition to the Taliban’s insurance policies towards ladies continued Tuesday, with an illustration in a Kabul non-public college by feminine academics and college students who held up indicators saying “Education is a right.” The protest was held indoors to keep away from backlash from the Taliban, who’ve lately outlawed demonstrations held with out permission from the federal government.

 

The U.N. continued to sound the alarm concerning the nation’s dire financial state of affairs, saying a humanitarian disaster is imminent. The world physique’s kids’s company warned that half of Afghanistan’s kids beneath age 5 are anticipated to undergo from extreme malnutrition as starvation takes root amid critical meals shortages.

“There are millions of people who are going to starve and there is winter coming, COVID raging, and the whole social system collapsed,” stated Omar Adbi, UNICEF’s deputy government director for applications, throughout a go to to a Kabul kids’s hospital.

 

On the hospital, a girl named Nargis sat together with her 3-year-old little one, who was affected by extreme malnutrition. She had come from Kunar province within the northeast, the place combating between the Taliban and the Islamic State group has disadvantaged communities of accessing fundamental wants, together with meals. Nargis declined to present her full title.

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