Afghan govt responds to EU concerns

KABUL (TOLO News): The Afghan government is conducting its activities normally while prioritizing the fight against the coronavirus, and the peace process, a presidential spokesman Dawa Khan Minapal said in response to a statement issued by the European Union this week.

In the statement, the European Union said the EU Delegation in agreement with EU Heads of Missions based in Kabul and the Ambassador of Norway calls on all parties to the current political negotiations to reach an agreement with the “highest sense of urgency.”

The statement said there is a need to start the peace process as soon as possible. “The wellbeing of the Afghan people and the broader interest of the nation must come first while Afghanistan is facing continued insecurity and dramatic new health risks,” it added.

The EU also expressed its deep concern over the way the fight against the coronavirus is dealt with.

“Each day that passes without a consolidated governmental team exposes the Afghan population to greater dangers, undermines the credibility of the democratic institutions and discourages European partners,” the EU said, concluding that “time for unity is now.”

“You can see that the president is leading the government and the government affairs are underway, as normal. The government’s focus is more on fighting the coronavirus,” Minapal said.

The EU statement comes as a political rift between President Ghani and his political rival Abdullah Abdullah continues. The standoff led to a US announcement of a $1 billion cut in its annual aid to Afghanistan.

But hopes still remain as political talks are underway that the impasse will be broken, according to government officials. The standoff, which includes Abdullah’s rejection of the election results, has undermined the government’s efforts for peace and for fighting the coronavirus.

“The situation is not good. There is the coronavirus and there is a rift among politicians,” said Abdul Qudoos, a Kabul resident, who like many in the city remain concerned about their future.

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission says the tensions should be solved in order to maintain the achievements in human rights.

“It will be very good to take some steps to maintain the human rights achievements,” said Zabihullah Farhang, head of public relations at the commission.

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