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China to Donate Vaccines, Medical Aid To Afghanistan; Stresses Need for Regional Cooperation and Coordination

China to Donate Vaccines, Medical Aid To Afghanistan; Stresses Need for Regional Cooperation and Coordination

Sept. 9, 2021 (EIRNS)–Yesterday’s mini-summit among China, Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, called to discuss how to address the challenges posed by the Afghan situation, announced a humanitarian aid package of $31 million, including food, water, three million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, and other medical supplies. The meeting was chaired by Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who had just completed a tour of Afghanistan’s neighbors 10 days earlier. The three million COVID vaccine doses reportedly represent only a first batch, with more to come. Xinhua reports that State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced that China is prepared to offer more anti-epidemic and emergency materials to Afghanistan under the China-South Asian Countries Emergency Supplies Reserve.

Today, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian offered more details on yesterday’s meeting, stressing that it is the first attempt by Afghanistan’s neighbors “to work closely in response to the evolving situation in the country,” and to specifically establish “a coordination and cooperation mechanism.” He explained that this mechanism should be able to work smoothly with other existing multilateral mechanisms on Afghanistan “and can complement each other and form synergy. All participating parties support the continued operation of this unique mechanism so that countries can share policy propositions, coordinate positions, and jointly address challenges through this platform. The hope to host the second conference has already been expressed,” he reported. 


Taliban Want Relations with Regional Nations

Taliban Want Relations with Regional Nations

Sep. 6 (EIRNS) — TASS, citing Al Jazeera, reported this morning that the Taliban intend to invite a number of foreign countries to be present at the installation of the new government that they expect to announce within the next few days. “We have sent invitations to Turkey, China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan and Qatar to take part in the [ceremony] of announcing [the composition of the new Afghan] government,” said an unnamed Taliban representative.

Mohammad Akbar Agha, a former Taliban field commander and now the leader of Afghanistan’s High Council of Salvation, told TASS yesterday that the Taliban is very interested in establishing relations with Russia, Iran and Pakistan. “We should establish broad relations with Moscow, since it is in the interests of both the Taliban and Russia,” he said. “Iran and Pakistan are also countries we want to establish relations with. They need us and we need them.”

Agha also said that the Taliban have no objections against having a U.S. embassy in Kabul but Washington is afraid of it. “Before the United States’ invasion of Afghanistan there was a possibility to have good relations with Washington. But after their invasion and their crimes … relations have worsened,” he said. Agha said that “there are chances that [diplomatic] relations between the United States and the Taliban will be established. I think the Taliban will not be against opening the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan. But the United States is afraid of the current situation in the country and most likely there will be no embassy for some time,” he said.


World Food Program’s Beasley Met With Taliban in Afghanistan on Continuity of UN Relief

World Food Program’s Beasley Met With Taliban in Afghanistan on Continuity of UN Relief

Sep. 1 (EIRNS)–David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Program, was in Afghanistan last week, during the evacuation period, to personally see to arrangements to continue and step-up food and humanitarian relief in these very hard times. He met with Taliban leaders on plans. Then, back in his home state of South Carolina, he was interviewed by local TV WBTW, in a video now in circulation, stressing the need for resources and action in Afghanistan. The interview can be seen here.

Overall, 18 million Afghans are in need of humanitarian relief—half the population, with over 500,000 displaced. Four million are near death this year from starvation, without reliable food relief, Beasley said.

He stressed, on his operating approach, “We have to negotiate, work with whoever controls an area. That’s why we’re in war zones. We work with both sides. We have no choice, because we’re trying to reach the innocent victims in the conflict. ” He said of his visit, “We’ve had very frank conversations and so far, quite shockingly, the Taliban has said to us, ‘We want you to do what you do. We don’t want to interfere.’ They’ve actually provided protection and warehouses and some of our supply chain and our routes.”

The World Food Program is appealing for an additional $200 million over the next 45-day period, in order to obtain and pre-stage food for the coming Winter months. Beasley is also mobilizing WFP workers to man the front lines to administer the COVID-19 vaccine in poor countries. The WFP is the UN logistics and travel service for all purposes, not just food.

Today, UN representative in Afghanistan Isabelle Moussard Carlsen gave an interview to CGTN on the dimensions of need for aid in Afghanistan. Since May, 80,000 more people have been displaced, above the 500,000, and more of this is taking place. Of the children under five years old, 60% are suffering from acute, severe malnutrition.


Webcast: Afghanistan—Chance for a Positive Reorientation

Helga Zepp-LaRouche delivered a thoroughly composed analysis of how the world has changed since August 15, 2021, when the Taliban marched into Kabul, and the U.S. and NATO left. “A whole system is coming to an end. The policy has failed.” All the lives lost, the chaos in the country, and the money spent—and stolen—served the interests of a greedy elite, but benefited no one else.

She reported on the prescience demonstrated by participants at the Schiller Institute conference on July 31, and then the solutions presented in the follow-up conference on August 21. The solution begins with a rejection of neoliberalism and imperial geopolitics. Biden’s rejection of the demand by Boris Johnson and the Europeans that the U.S. remain in Afghanistan longer has provoked hysteria among the war hawks responsible for the catastrophe, typified by Tony Blair.

It is now up to the Americans and the Europeans to join with Afghanistan’s neighbors to forge a durable peace, based on economic development. This means the West must junk the delusion that the “Rules-Based Order” must be accepted by all nations.


One in Three ‘Food Insecure’ In Afghanistan

One in Three ‘Food Insecure’ In Afghanistan

Aug. 21 (EIRNS)–One in three people in Afghanistan is “food insecure,” that is either with insufficient, or unreliable daily food, or both, according to the World Food Program Representative in Kabul this week, Mary-Ellen McGroarty. She spoke with AFP, and attributed the situation to strife, displacement of people from their homes, and bad weather, which she called “climate change.” There are 39 million people in the country, with masses more displacement currently taking place.

The Afghan wheat crop was down 40% this last crop year, under very dry conditions. The price of wheat in the country today is up 24% over the price averaged over the prior five years. Livestock have also been badly affected.

The WFP curtailed its operations since the Kabul changing situation since Aug. 14, but intends to ramp up again. The WFP is putting out the word that resources are needed. The WFP gave out food and aid in Afghanistan in the past week to 400,000 people overall, it was reported Aug. 20 by WFP official Frances Kennedy, to TASS. But there is a need for full-scale operations. She said, of the Afghanistan situation, “In the first six months of this year, WFP delivered food and nutrition assistance to 5.5 million people. WFP needs US$200 million urgently to continue its operations until the end of the year.”

China has pledged to send food, reported the Afghani Ambassador Javid Ahmad Qaem, on Aug. 18, in a CGTN interview. He said that he is working on finding transportation for it to reach his country. Given the air carrier problems in Kabul, he is seeking train transport via Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, which for food, in any case, is far less costly than air cargo.

Also, Amb. Qaem said that the WHO has promised to get a million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Afghanistan.


Now More Urgent Than Ever: Afghanistan Is an Opportunity for a New Epoch for Mankind

~ Schiller Institute Webcast: Saturday, August 21, 12pm EDT ~

PDF of this invitation

Aug. 18 – With nearly all policy-makers and strategic analysts in the trans-Atlantic sector of the world in a clueless state of utter chaos and hysteria over the developments in Afghanistan, Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche today convoked an urgent international seminar for this coming Saturday, August 21 to pursue the only available solution to the crisis: peace through development. The seminar will continue the prescient discussion held by the Schiller Institute on July 31, with many of the same panelists, as well as new ones.

Zepp-LaRouche drew a crystal clear picture in a webcast interview yesterday, Afghanistan: Opportunity for a New Epoch.

“First of all, I do not agree with the hysteria of the Western media that this is the end of the world. The first thing that must be stated, is that it ends 40 years of war for the Afghani people, and if people have any sense of what it means to live in such a long war, all the suffering of the civilians, all the terrible things people had to endure, in terms of drone attacks, in terms of anxiety, I think, first of all, it’s very good that the war has ended.

“I think it is, on the contrary, the real chance to integrate Afghanistan into a regional economic development perspective, which is basically defined by the Belt and Road Initiative of China. There is a very clear agreement of Russia and China to cooperate in dealing with this situation. The interest of the Central Asian republics is to make sure there is stability and economic development; and there is the possibility to extend the CPEC, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, into Afghanistan, into Central Asia. So, I think it’s a real opportunity, but it does require a complete change in approach.”

Zepp-LaRouche continued: “This is an epochal change… I think that if the European nations and the United States would understand that this is a unique chance, if they cooperate, rather than fight Russia and China and their influence in the region, and if they join hands in the economic development there… then this can become a very positive turning point, not only for Afghanistan, but also for the whole world.”

Zepp-LaRouche made a special appeal to the United States in remarks earlier in the day on Aug. 17: “The United States must go back to the foreign policy of the Founding Fathers and the initial period—such as John Quincy Adams–that the aim of the United States is not to chase foreign monsters, but to build alliances. John Quincy Adams said that the United States should have alliances of perfectly sovereign republics, and this is now the moment to really do that. The idea is to not oppose China linking Afghanistan into the Belt and Road Initiative, but rather see it as an opportunity to cooperate, and stop this geopolitical confrontation which can only lead to catastrophe.

She concluded: “That’s the kind of discussion which we have to catalyze.”

Here is the video archive link of the July 31, 2021 Schiller Institute conference on “Afghanistan: A Turning Point in History after the Failed Regime-Change Era”

Those speakers included:

Helga Zepp-LaRouche (Germany), Founder and President of The Schiller Institute; Pino Arlacchi (Italy), Sociology Professor at the Sassari University, Former Executive Director of the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, and former European Parliament Rapporteur on Afghanistan; H.E. Ambassador Hassan Shoroosh (Afghanistan), Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to Canada; H.E. Ambassador Anna Evstigneeva (Russian Federation), Deputy Permanent Representative at the Mission of The Russian Federation to the UN; Dr. Wang Jin (China), Fellow with The Charhar Institute; Ray McGovern (U.S.), Analyst, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA-ret.), Co-Founder, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS); Hassan Daud (Pakistan), CEO, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province Board of Investment; and Hussein Askary (Sweden/Iraq), Southwest Asia Coordinator for the Schiller Institute.


Webcast: Afghanistan – Opportunity for a New Epoch

The dramatic developments surrounding the Taliban takeover of Kabul expose the failure of this regime-change war, and the previous ones since WWII. The war was wrong from the beginning, as the continuing investigation by the 9/11 families into who was responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks are uncovering, and as Lyndon LaRouche warned that day, but more needs to be done. And there was never a viable war plan.

Some western political leaders are reacting thoughtfully. German CDU chancellor candidate Armin Laschet stated that this was the biggest failure of NATO, ever. Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod called for reflection and soul-searching. Helga Zepp-LaRouche pointed out the special responsibility that the U.S. has, in President John Quincy Adams’ words, to not go abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.

Now, as presented in the July 31, 2021 Schiller Institute video conference, “Afghanistan: A Turning Point in History after the Failed Regime-Change Era,” there is a potential for a new era of real nation-building in Afghanistan, and the rest of the world, if the Western nations cooperate with the Chinese-led Belt and Road Initiative, along with Afghanistan’s neighbors, and drop their geopolitical goals of preventing China and Russia from playing leading roles in the world. Many Afghan development plans are already on the drawing boards, and there is great humanitarian need, starting with building a modern health system, other infrastructure and agricultural alternatives to opium production. There will be great pressure on the Taliban from the outside, with offers of economic development contingent upon how they act.

International Conference

Afghanistan: A Turning Point in History After the Failed Regime-Change Era

Watch here →

Online Seminar sponsored by the LaRouche Legacy Faoundation

On the 50th Anniversary of LaRouche’s Stunning Forecast of August 15, 1971: So, Are You Finally Willing to Learn Economics?

Event Proceedings →

Stay tuned for upcoming conferences!


Afghanistan: the Role of the Neighboring Countries in Development

Afghanistan: the Role of the Neighboring Countries in Development

Aug. 5, 2021 (EIRNS) – During a Schiller Institute conference July 31, Prof. Pino Arlacchi, the former head of the United Nations Office of Drug Control who negotiated near-elimination of Afghan opium production with the Taliban 20 years ago, noted that immediately neighboring countries should play a primary role in planning South Asian regional development to include Afghanistan, and in stopping drug traffic from that country. One country clearly taking the point for this kind of development is Uzbekistan, under President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

A July 31 article in EastAsiaForum.org by Nasriddinov Salokhiddin, a researcher at the Institute for International Security of Tokyo International University, calls the February 2021 conference with Pakistan and Afghanistan organized by Mirziyoyev, “the event of the century for Central Asia”, because it will connect landlocked Central Asian countries to the Indian Ocean through Afghanistan and Pakistan. The conference attendees decided on a 600-kilometer Tashkent-Mazar e-Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar railroad and requested $4.8 billion in World Bank funding for it, Apparently the railroad corridor project was planned from the first to include new electricity transmission lines through it.

Noting the criticism that surmounting the Hindu Kush Mountains will make the project very expensive, Salokhiddin wrote: “Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan filed an appeal for investment to international financial institutions, which [appeal] received support from the United States, China and Russia. Representatives of the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Asian Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank also expressed their willingness to assist the project through technical consulting and financing. Such wide support for the project means that the source of investment is no longer a concern.” He did not give dates or details regarding these other nations’ and international institutions’ support. He did add that the route transits Afghanistan through regions and cities which are under relatively secure government control now.

The author wrote that freight traffic in Afghanistan was about 4 million tons for 2020 and had risen by 25%. “Estimates suggest that if implemented, the trans-Afghan railroad will increase annual volume of rail freight by 20 million tons.” Some economists in Uzbekistan have advocated a railroad corridor to Chabahar in Iran instead, as allegedly more secure. But, “To achieve its economic objectives, access to the ports of Karachi and Gwadar is Uzbekistan’s highest priority.” Full article is here.


UN Security Council Unanimously Pushes for Afghan Political Solution

UN Security Council Unanimously Pushes for Afghan Political Solution

Aug. 4 (EIRNS)—In New York, the UN Security Council unanimously issued a press statement condemning deliberate attacks on civilians in Afghanistan and all instances of terrorism “in the strongest terms” on Aug. 3, while declaring its opposition to restoration of rule by the Taliban, reported The Associated Press. The council called on the Afghan government and the Taliban “to engage meaningfully in an inclusive, Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process in order to make urgent progress towards a political settlement and a ceasefire.” The council statement also expressed “deep concern” at the high levels of violence and reported serious human rights abuses in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s offensive. It urged an immediate reduction in violence.

It is noteworthy that the U.S., China and Russia (as well as the U.K. and France) all agreed with this perspective on Afghanistan.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken also spoke with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani by phone yesterday to press for a political settlement and lecture Ghani on democracy and human rights.

Afghanistan Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar told TOLOnews in an Aug. 2 interview that the Taliban enjoys the support of foreign terrorists in Afghanistan. “The Taliban relies on the support of foreign terrorists and mainly aims to attack cities,” he said. “Afghanistan’s international allies hold the same opinion.”

“Two important encounters will take place in Doha (Qatar) in the coming days: One with our regional allies and the other with international allies in the format of the Extended Troika,” comprised of Russia, the United States, China and Pakistan, Atmar continued. “We are turning to the international community with a request to exert pressure on the Taliban so that this movement observes human rights. Up to now, the Taliban has been brutally assaulting civilians.”

On the ground, heavy fighting reportedly continues in both Herat in western Afghanistan and in the southern province of Helmand. Several airstrikes were reportedly launched by Afghan and U.S. air forces since Tuesday night (Aug. 3), according to security sources. The commander of the Army’s 215 Maiwand Corps, Gen. Sami Sadat, called on residents in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital of Helmand, to evacuate their homes as the army was preparing for a large-scale operation to clear the city of the Taliban. However, as of the latest reports, the army had not made much progress beyond controlling government buildings.


28 Nations Participate in China’s Belt and Road Partnership on COVID Vaccines Cooperation

August 3, 2021 (EIRNS)—On June 23 of this year, at the Asia and Pacific High-Level Conference on Belt and Road Cooperation, presided over by China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, 28 nations joined in launching the China Initiative for Belt and Road Partnership on Covid-19 Vaccine Cooperation. The statement announcing this initiative stressed that international cooperation and solidarity are key to fighting the pandemic, that “people and their lives” must be put first, and that no one is safe until everyone is safe. It emphasized that vaccines must be equitably distributed and that there must be “open, fair and non-discriminatory international cooperation on vaccines.”

A number of other recommendations for the BRI vaccine cooperation initiative included facilitating joint vaccine research, development and technological exchanges; promoting partnerships between vaccine producers and developing countries for joint vaccine production, to scale up global production; encouraging regional and multilateral development banks to provide more concessional financing to developing countries for their vaccine procurement and production; and “strengthening Belt and Road cooperation on connectivity to ensure cross-border flows of vaccines.”

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry yesterday, in less than two months the BRI vaccine initiative has yielded impressive results, reaching cooperative agreements with several of the initiative’s 28 co-sponsors on a total of 775 million doses of vaccines, including in the form of concentrates, of which 350 million doses have been delivered. In addition, Chinese companies have started joint production with four co-sponsors of this initiative, whose names were not specified, and are discussing joint production “with other interested countries.” In today’s foreign ministry press conference, spokesman Wang Wenbin reported that China has provided vaccine assistance to over 80 countries and vaccines to 40 countries, also reporting that China is collaborating with other developing nations to mass produce the vaccine. It was also announced today that the World Health Organization has granted emergency use authorization to China’s Sinovac vaccine. (The full initiative statement is detailed here.)

The 28 countries include: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Fiji, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.


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