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Russia’s Lavrov at the UN: Not “Might Is Right” but “Right Is Might”

Russia’s Lavrov at the UN: Not “Might Is Right” but “Right Is Might”

Sept. 28, 2021 (EIRNS)—Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov used his address at the United Nations on September 25, to make clear the important difference between international law and the reality behind the sophistry of a “rules-based order.” International law is a principle based upon “right is might”—not “might is right.” The latter is behind the “selfish interests” of the “so-called ‘rules-based order’ concept that the West is persistently introducing into political discourse as opposed to international law.” The U.S.’s “Summit for Democracy” makes democracy into a wedge to get into countries’ internal affairs, but there can be no challenging the undemocratic reality outside of countries, such as NATO. Talk of democracy—such as the U.S.’s “Summit for Democracy”—is a cover for interfering into sovereign countries and has no reality for relations between countries, where the undemocratic military weapons of NATO are not to be brought up. “The use of unilateral restrictive measures” against Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, “violate the Charter-based principle of non-interference in internal affairs of sovereign states… undermines the prerogatives of the Security Council,” and even ignores the UN call “to suspend them at least for the period of the pandemic.”

Lavrov said that it was now time to stop the “policy aimed at undermining the UN-centric architecture” and choose the path of “rejecting any confrontation and stereotypes,  and joining efforts to address key tasks of humanity’s development and survival. We have enough instruments for this.” He enumerated them. President Vladimir Putin has proposed a P5 summit for a “frank discussion on global stability issues.” As there were “great expectations” for the “prospect of the Russian-American dialogue” on arms control, per the U.S.-Russian summit at Geneva, this could work. He referenced Biden’s extension of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty as encouraging. Russian proposals on addressing the cyberwarfare problem was a basis for common agreement, where concerns can be examined “in a transparent manner, relying on facts.”

“In Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen and in other hotbeds, all external actors must show an understanding of the cultural and civilisational specifics of society, reject politicization of humanitarian aid, and assist in the creation of broadly representative bodies of authority that would involve all major ethnic, religious and political forces of the relevant countries. Guided by such an approach, Russia has been constructively engaged in the promotion of the Afghan settlement via the extended Troika and the Moscow format.” He added, “It was with great interest that we perceived the Global Development Initiative proposed by President of China Xi Jinping, which resonates with our own approaches.” Lavrov finished with a twinkle: “In conclusion, I would like to propose a hashtag #UNCharterIsOurRules.”


Pakistan’s PTV World Features Helga Zepp-LaRouche

Sep. 20 (EIRNS)–On Pakistan’s “PTV World” broadcast, Faisal Rehman hosted Helga Zepp-LaRouche of the Schiller Institute and Pakistan’s Ambassador to Italy, Jauhar Saleem. Rehman began by welcoming “Our guest, Ms. Helga!” with an opening question as whether the world had entered into a clash of civilizations. Zepp-LaRouche answered that she had read Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations, and, first, it must be said that he knew very little about the civilizations that he wrote about.

Further, the world is not about “geopolitics but geo-economics” — employing the distinction recently made by Pakistani President Imran Khan. AUKUS is not the spirit of the time. The AUKUS attempt may even provoke something like de Gaulle’s response to NATO, as in 1958. This move has destroyed trust in Biden. He had just said, in pulling troops out of Afghanistan, that this was the end of an era; the end of useless wars. Was he serious? Or was it just to concentrate forces against China? This is not good for Biden, as trust in his word is undermined.

Rather, the New Silk Road is the pathway – and the Schiller Institute, by the way, has been on this pathway since 1991. So, does Australia want to be an aircraft carrier for this new military alliance? Or does it want an economic future for its own people? The situation is that there is a decaying neo-liberal system, and it has been refusing to respond to offers from China and Russia.

After a question and some discussion with Ambassador Saleem, Rehman turned back to Zepp-LaRouche, and asked: How would the U.S. and China, given the present conflicting positions, move ahead? Zepp-LaRouche set out that, objectively, neither China nor Russia represent a threat. There have been many offers on demilitarization from Putin — including to Germany, when he spoke, in German, to the Bundestag. And China has lifted 850 million of their people out of poverty. The BRI is not a threat. They are offering to developing countries to conquer poverty.

We need to take a step back. It is a nuclear-armed world, and there is the threat of war by accident, war by miscalculation. China’s Global Times clearly warned that China will fight and win certain conflicts, such as Taiwan. Therefore, we must stop geopolitics. In Afghanistan, David Beasley from the World Food Program made clear that 90% are hungry. Afghanistan’s Health Minister Majrood explained that 90% have recently been denied health care. The recent move to use the Extended Troika (of China, Pakistan, Russia and the United States) involves reaching out and collaborating to develop Afghanistan. It can be integrated into the BRI — and there is the offer to Europe and the US to join in. Pino Arlacchi, e.g, was able to conclude an agreement in 2000 with the Taliban on opium production.

There are presently two billion people in the world without access to clean water. We need a modern health sector in every country. Not doing so simply means that there will be more mutations, new variants and the defeat of the last round of vaccines. Clearly, this crisis requires a new paradigm. Afghanistan can be the new building block. The human species is the only one endowed with creative reason. We can find cures for a pandemic, for overcoming poverty, even colonizing Mars. You know, in February, the United Arab Emirates, China and the United States all had Mars missions at the same time. It is time to become an adult species.


Schiller Institute-Russian Federation 9/11 Memorial Receives Wide Coverage in Russia

Sep. 15 (EIRNS)–On Sunday, September 12, The Schiller Institute, with the support of the Russian Embassy in the United States and the Consulate General of Russia in New York, organized a Memorial Ceremony to mark the 20th anniversary of the mass terrorist attack on the US. To honor those who perished and in support of their families and survivors, an event was held that day at the monument in Bayonne, N.J. known as the “Tear of Sorrow,” and more formally, by its title: “To the Struggle Against World Terrorism.” This sculpture was designed by Zurab Tsereteli, the president of the Russian Academy of Arts, and erected in Bayonne by a team of Russian artisans in 2005.

The Memorial Ceremony was addressed by Terry Strada, chairwoman of Families and Survivors United in the Struggle Against Terrorism, and by many American and Russian government officials, and Police and Fire first responders. There was widespread press coverage in Russia. Media covering the event included: TASS, RIA/Novosti, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Regnum.ru, Yandex.ru, NTV, Russkiymir.ru, and Expert.ru.

The article in Komsomolskaya Pravda begins:

“To see the Russian and American flags flying together has been an almost impossible task in recent years. Nevertheless, Moscow and Washington have common interests, common values, and common memory. Not only in our countries, but throughout the civilized world, they remember the mournful date – the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the United States.”

A rough translation follows of the article by the TASS Washington Bureau correspondent is as follows:

Participants of the 9/11 Event Called on Russia and the United States to Fight Terrorism Together

Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche says: It’s Time to Put an End to the Era of Geopolitics, an Era of Not Achieving Common Goals

BAYONNE / NJ /, September 13. / TASS /. On Sunday, Russian and American participants in the ceremony at the Tear of Sorrow memorial by Zurab Tsereteli honored the memory of those killed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and stressed the importance of jointly combating common threats. The event, organized by the Russian Embassy in Washington, the Consulate General in New York and with the participation of the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the UN, began with the performance of the anthems of the two countries, the solemn presentation of national flags, then, the audience bowed their heads in prayer for those who did not return that day 20 years ago.

Was There a Conspiracy? U.S. Publishes 9/11 “Secret Files”

Terry Strada, of Families and 9/11 Survivors for Justice Against Terrorism, spoke via audio link about the recently declassified FBI material and about the circumstances of the terrorist attack. She highlighted the need for further action. “New documents have been released, but the country needs to do more,” she said.

According to one of the Memorial organizers, chairman of the “Schiller Institute” Helga Zepp-LaRouche, it is time to put an end to the era of geopolitics, of failing to achieve common goals. “It is time to unite, especially the United States and Russia, given the several periods of history when [this] cooperation was beneficial to all of humanity,” Zepp-LaRouche said, in a message to the Memorial.

Being Together

Russian Consul General in New York Sergei Ovsyannikov drew attention to the fact that over the years since the tragedy, international terrorism has only gained strength. No power is capable of overcoming this evil alone, the diplomat emphasized.

The American guests of the ceremony especially noted the fact of the gift of the monument, created by the President of the Russian Academy of Arts (RAA) Tsereteli.

Kirk Wiebe, a former analyst with the U.S. National Security Agency, switched to Russian in his speech. “We all have gathered here in an atmosphere of brotherhood, friendship and love. We Americans sincerely thank you for such a monument. Know that we are always with you both for the truth, and in the fight against terrorism,” he said.

Common Values

The representative of the Schiller Institute in New York, Richard Black, told reporters that, despite the serious tensions in relations between the two countries, there was “genuine solidarity at this event, where Russians and Americans, both officials and ordinary citizens, stand for the same values – the right to life, to freedom, the right to live happily with one’s family.”

“Many people understand, in the small communities, that our peoples, American and Russian, have the same interests,” he added.

The expert stressed the importance of contacts at the highest level, including the statement adopted at the end of the Russian-American summit in Geneva on June 16, in which the principle was affirmed: “a nuclear war cannot be won and should never be fought.” “This is a significant advance, because some in the Pentagon and in the State Department have stated differently: that a nuclear war can be won and the United States must be determined to win,” said the spokesman for the institute.

In addition, Black considers it necessary to organize a summit of the “five” of the UN Security Council, as initiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to him, the proposal is very relevant. “There are urgent topical issues – the fight against international terrorism, the coronavirus pandemic. I hope that we will be able to convince the U.S. President to agree to the initiative. These are very important matters, now, more than ever,” the expert said.

The Tear of Sorrow monument to the victims of international terrorism was presented by the United States as a gift from Russia. Putin took part in the groundbreaking ceremony in 2005.” The ceremony can be viewed at this link. 


Drumbeat Grows for Release of Afghan Funds As Economy Falters

Drumbeat Grows for Release of Afghan Funds As Economy Falters

As Afghanistan’s Chamber of Commerce and Investment warned on September 13 that the country would plunge into an economic crisis unless frozen international reserves were released by the U.S. Treasury, there is a growing cascade of voices calling on the U.S. to do just that. These private sector representatives charged that the U.S. Treasury’s freezing of reserves is a violation of humanitarian law and reported that since the reserves were frozen, all transactions between Afghan and international banks have been halted.

Unless this situation is reversed, the country won’t avoid a deep recession, the representatives warned, according to TOLO News. “We call on the United States and the world to solve the issue with the frozen assets, because that money belongs to the people of Afghanistan. If you have political issues with the government or some people, you should not take people’s money hostage,” ACCI acting director Yunus Mohmand said. A fellow member of the ACCI, Khan Jan Alokozay, said that most of the factories are facing serious financial shortages and raw materials because they are unable to withdraw money, adding that in the last month over one million laborers have not been paid.

In addition, Afghanistan’s Health Minister, Wahid Majrooh, who had stayed on from the previous government, said that the Afghan health system is teetering on the edge of collapse, “We are losing personnel, we are losing lives, and the morale and momentum we had,” Majrooh said.  “The crisis is very, very extensive.”

Pressure is growing on the U.S.  to release the funds. On September 15th, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijjan said that the U.S. should release those Afghan Government assets which they have been holding in abeyance as the new Afghan government was in the process of formation. Zhao was replying to a question regarding the Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen’s call for release of the funds. “Shaheen is right,” Zhao said. “The assets belong to Afghanistan and should be spent for the Afghan people. The U.S. should not freeze them without justification. The U.S. should face up to the legitimate demand of Afghanistan, abandon pressures and sanctions, and stop creating obstacles to the economy, livelihood and peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan.”

One can also expect a clear statement from the upcoming SCO meeting as both Russia and China have indicated that the U.S. which is responsible for the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan have got to take the primary responsibility for resolving the crisis. A first step in that direction would be releasing the funds to the present interim government before it is too late.


Friendship, Unity Against Terrorism Expressed by U.S. and Russian Officials at Schiller Institute 9/11 Memorial Ceremony [Video included]

On Sunday, September 12, 2021, in Bayonne, New Jersey, the Schiller Institute, with the support of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Washington, D.C., and the Russian Consulate in New York City, organized a memorial ceremony on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the mass terrorist attack on the United States. It was held at the towering Tear of Grief monument, which sits just across the Hudson River from the site of the attack on the Twin Towers in Manhattan. The Tear of Grief monument, designed by Russian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, was given by the Russian government and people as a gift to America in 2005, in sympathy and in support of the families and survivors of the 9/11 attack. 

The master of ceremonies was Fireman Michael Pelliccio, from the City of Bayonne Fire Department, which provided its honor guard, joined by that of the City of Bayonne Police Department, and by the New York City Police Department Ceremonial Unit Color Guard. Extraordinary music, including the national anthems of the United States and Russia, was provided by the Schiller Institute NYC Chorus, and by soloists Kevin Maynor, and NYC police officer Kevin Shaw. 

Among the many speakers were Terry Strada, national chairwoman of 9/11 Families and Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism, Consul General Sergey Ovsyannikov of the Russian Consulate in New York, Bayonne Mayor James M. Davis, Bayonne Fire Chief Keith Weaver, and Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst of the National Security Agency. Messages were read from Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche and from the President of the Russian Academy of Arts, Zurab Tsereteli. 

An important message was sent by the Russian Federation’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Anatoly Antonov. The Ambassador’s message concludes:

“The 9/11 tragedy has shown that terrorism is a common global threat. Any attempts to create isolated ‘islands of security’ in the modern inter-connected world are ephemeral and doomed to failure. The victory over terrorists can be achieved only through joint efforts of the entire international community. There is no place for carelessness and double standards in this regard. It is unacceptable to divide terrorists into the good and the bad.

“Vladimir Putin as well as Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have stated multiple times that cooperation in counterterrorism meets the interests of both Moscow and Washington. Interaction in this sphere can save the lives of hundreds of people.

“The Tear of Sorrow monument testifies to the unity of our peoples in the face of the global terrorist threat. This memorial epitomizes grief, which the Russians share with the Americans.”

Bayonne Fire Chief Keith Weaver discussed in his remarks, the common values of the American and the Russian people in the face of great challenges, and concluded by saying, “God bless The Russian Federation and God bless America.”      

The Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations released 2 short videos of the event: https://twitter.com/RussiaUN/status/1437074316248633346 https://twitter.com/RussiaUN/status/1437064574042259470


Greetings to the Commemoration of the Victims of Terrorism at the Teardrop Memorial

The end of the military campaign by the U.S. and NATO in Afghanistan signifies the “end of an era,” as President Biden has stated, an era of so-called humanitarian interventionist wars. If one looks at the outcome of these wars of 20 years, it is devastating. More than a million lives were lost, more than 8 trillion dollars were spent, up to 70 million people were turned into refugees. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, were devastated. More than 70 percent of the people in Afghanistan, 90 percent in Syria and even more in Yemen are living now below the extreme poverty line. In all of these countries there is now a gigantic humanitarian crisis, threatening death to many more millions of human beings.

The first priority must be to save the lives of the people in the countries which were the targets of the „endless wars,“ and the international community is called upon to join hands in bringing real economic development to the entire region, starting with the creation of a modern health system in every single country, which in the time of this pandemic and the danger of future pandemics is the precondition to defeat this curse of humanity. That requires clean water, which is scarce in Afghanistan—a nation hit by droughts—and it requires electricity, of which Afghanistan only produces 600 MW in the entire country, the equivalent of one medium- to- large plant in the U.S. 18 million people are food insecure and 4 million are in danger of starvation in the coming winter.

President Biden is being criticized for the withdrawal of troops, but he did the right thing, and his promise of the “end of the era of the endless wars” also must mean the end of the freezing of financial means for Afghanistan; it must mean the end of the Caesar Sanctions for Syria; and the end of any sanctions during the time of the pandemic. It is the time for joining hands, especially, again, between the U.S. and Russia, as there were several periods in the history of both nations, were such a collaboration existed for the good of all humanity.

Let us therefore use the coincidence of the end of 20 years of war and the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 for the solemn commitment to regard terrorism, hunger, and underdevelopment as the enemies of mankind, and not each other. Let us replace the era of geopolitics with an era of achieving the common aims of mankind.  It is not an idle hope that the human species, as the only one that has proven through its existence that creativity is that quality which can transcend all seeming limitations, will soon leave conflict, aggression, and war behind it, and that we become truly human. Let us be inspired by the lofty ideal of man as it is expressed in the great art of the composers, poets, painters, architects, and sculptors, such as the creator of this Teardrop Memorial, around which we gather today.

These last 20 years are hopefully the final chapter in the adolescence of humanity, to be followed by adulthood—in which people and nations relate to one another based on the creative potential of the other, thus bringing out in them the best they can be. To learn to think that way requires an elevated state of mind in all of us, to think from above, from that higher One of humanity which shows the way to a future, in which all nations and all people will create peace on earth and colonize the stars together.

— Helga Zepp-LaRouche


China’s Ambassador to U.S.: China-U.S. Relations at ‘Historical Juncture’

China’s Ambassador to U.S.: China-U.S. Relations at ‘Historical Juncture’

Sep. 1 (EIRNS)–China’s Ambassador to the United States, Qin Gang, held a Zoom discussion on August 31 with the board of directors of the National Council on U.S.-China Relations and other China-watchers, including Henry Kissinger and Susan Thornton, an Assistant Secretary of State for Asia under Trump. He said that U.S.- China relations were at “an historical juncture.” 

 “The extreme China policy of the previous US administration has caused serious damage to our relations, and such a situation has not changed. It is even continuing,” he said . He said that the United States should not treat China as a rival or push the situation toward a “Cold War.” “China is not the Soviet Union,” Qin said. “Some people in the US believe that America needs to deal with China from a position of strength. They think America can win the new `Cold War’ against China, just as it defeated the Soviet Union. This reflects a serious ignorance of history and China. China is not the Soviet Union. China has learned from this part of history that hegemonism will only lead to decline. Under the leadership of the CPC, China’s socialist democracy keeps improving. The people are the master of their own country. The nation enjoys economic development, social stability and better livelihoods for the people,” Qin said.

He stressed that both countries had benefited from their relationship over the last 50 years and within the U.S. business community there is a great deal of interest in being involved in the Chinese economy. China is not intent on surpassing the United States, he said, it is only interested in surpassing itself. And its goal is to create a better future for the people of China. Trying to paint China as an enemy, he said, is like Don Quixote jousting with the windmills. He said that it would be a big mistake to think of “decoupling” from China. He noted that when the Soviet advisers withdrew from China in 1960, it caused great problems, but China survived. And in the attempt to take down Huawei, he said that many Chinese believe that it will only lead to many more Huaweis.

The two sides should observe each other’s “red lines” and use the opportunity of cooperation on issues like COVID and climate change in order to find further areas of cooperation. “At the same time, we need to jointly remove obstacles for cooperation. It is hoped that the U.S. will stop political manipulation on the origins tracing of the virus and stop deliberating and passing China-related bills that will seriously hijack China-U.S. relations” he said. He concluded his remarks by appealing to his American interlocutors, “The historical mission of upholding and promoting our relationship in the new era has come to us.” Let’s hope they take that to heart.


Implement LaRouche’s 2010 Rebuilding Program in Haiti Now: The 2021 Earthquake Can Not Be Allowed To Be A Further Descent into Hell!

Had American statesman Lyndon LaRouche’s program to rebuild Haiti been implemented, in response to the devastating Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake, which killed between 250,000 and 300,000 people, this impoverished nation would not be suffering the level of death and destruction so far wrought by the August 14 earthquake that measured 7.2 on the Richter scale. And the carnage will become much greater as a series of tropical storms hit, which are expected to be rolling in, perhaps one after another. 

As of August 17, reports are that 1,900 people are dead, 10,000 injured, and 37,000 homes have been destroyed. Homes, schools, supermarkets, and roads were leveled in the southern and western parts of the country. People are terrified. They have once again been abandoned by the United States and its international partners, left to perish in extreme poverty, disease, and misery.

Lyndon LaRouche immediately responded to the 2010 earthquake by calling for an emergency reconstruction program for Haiti, to which, he said, the U.S. had a special responsibility. He called on the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to first deploy to rescue and relocate up to 1 million homeless Haitians from Port-au-Prince to higher ground before the rainy season arrived and unleashed a dangerous health and sanitation crisis for these destitute citizens; he then proposed a comprehensive program to focus on building infrastructure—for sanitation, water management, irrigation, earthquake-proof housing, transportation, agriculture, etc.

LaRouche also recommended that the U.S. sign a 25-year treaty with Haiti, “a treaty agreement to reestablish the efficient sovereignty of the nation of Haiti, after the destructive effect of this and preceding difficulties. We make a contract with the government, as a treaty agreement, between the United States and Haiti, to assure the rebuilding of their country, in a form in which it will actually be a functioning country which can survive.” Those proposals are available here.

President Barack Obama rejected LaRouche’s proposals, and instead removed crucial economic and military aid, encouraging what became known as the “Republic of NGOs” — a large unwieldy network of foreign NGOs that had a lot of money to throw around but did nothing of any real substance. 

Years later, in 2017, when China’s Southwest Engineering Municipal Design Research Institute joined with the Haitian firm Bayti Ayiti to propose a $30 billion program to completely rebuild Haiti, with $4.7 billion to rebuild the capital, Port-au-Prince, with sanitation infrastructure, housing, and transportation, the IMF reportedly stepped in—EIR was told at the time—to make sure the proposal went nowhere.

On March 10, 2010, EIR published a 20-page package which detailed the programmatic solutions Haiti required and identified those monetarist political forces committed to keeping in place the Malthusian economic policies that had made Haiti so vulnerable to disaster, and which remain in effect today. That package is available here.


Blinken Attacks China; Wang Yi Says None of the ASEAN Nations Agree

Blinken Attacks China; Wang Yi Says None of the ASEAN Nations Agree

Aug. 7 (EIRNS)–The final conference of the week of ASEAN meetings this week, the East Asia Summit Ministerial, involved a larger group in the Asia-Pacific region, including the United States, Japan and Australia. U.S. Secretary of State Blinken, like the skunk who came to the picnic, decided to do something of a repeat of Anchorage, going after China’s alleged human rights abuses in Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong. While there was no transcript to the meeting, it seems that Japan and Australia may also have chipped in on this. Wang Yi asked for the floor a second time to respond to the attacks.

Wang Yi said that as expected, the United States and other countries will use the multilateral platform to attack and smear China’s internal affairs. “These clichés are not worth refuting, and none of the ASEAN countries agree with you, but out of the principle of reciprocity, China certainly has the right to refute them. But for such abominable behavior, we will resolutely make refutation each and every time it comes up,” Wang asserted.


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.


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