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Afghanistan: German armed forces mission ends in Kabul

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Status: 08/26/2021 8:09 PM

The German army has completed the evacuation mission in Kabul, and the last flights have left the Afghan capital. According to Defense Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer, all soldiers were airlifted.

The German evacuation has ended in the Afghan capital, Kabul. “We finished the airlift today,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said. Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said the last planes had left the airport in Kabul. According to the CDU politician, “all soldiers, members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Police” were expelled by plane.

This also applies to two German soldiers who had to be left at first. They were flown with Airbus Hospital in the evening.

Two explosions at the airport

The airport was previously rocked by two explosions in the vicinity of the site, killing a number of people. Kramp-Karrenbauer said the attacks made it clear that “an extension of the operation in Kabul is not possible.” The security situation and the Taliban’s decision not to tolerate a military evacuation after August 31 will not make this possible.

According to the minister, the German armed forces transported a total of 5,347 people, including more than 4,000 Afghans and about 500 Germans, via the air bridge initially to Tashkent and in some cases to Germany. Even after the evacuation process is over, Kramp-Karrenbauer said, Germany will still be responsible for people who can no longer be airlifted. “For her, the end of this airlift is the moment of greatest concern,” she said. Your acceptance letters remain valid.

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Merkel: ‘A despicable attack’

Speaking about the bombings, Chancellor Merkel indicated that one or more suicide attacks were supposed to take place. “This is a completely despicable attack,” she said. People who can no longer be brought to safety by airlift will not be forgotten. “We will continue to try to persuade you to leave the country.” The first is with “high pressure and vigor” to negotiate terms with the Taliban.

Maas: Try to continue creating opportunities to leave the country

According to Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, there is currently no information about possible German victims of the attack. According to the SPD politician, the federal government is also working to create exit options for remaining local workers and people at particular risk. “The military evacuation is now over. But our work will continue – until everyone we hold responsible in Afghanistan is safe.”

The relief operation is now entering a new phase. She is still in direct contact with the remaining German citizens in Afghanistan. In order to be allowed to leave the country, talks are underway with various partners as well as with the Taliban. Among other things, it concerns the continued operation of the airport.

Warnings of terrorist attacks

Recently, there have been more and more warnings of terrorist attacks taking place at Kabul airport. On Tuesday, the German army reported the presence of an increasing number of potential suicide bombers from the terrorist organization “Islamic State” in Kabul.

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Kosovo police in the border area: Serbia puts its forces on alert

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Kosovo police officers in the border area
Serbia puts its forces on alert

After protests by the Serb minority, the Kosovo government sends elite units to the border. Belgrade feels provoked by this step and takes countermeasures.

Due to the stationing of special units of the Kosovo Police in the border area, which was considered a “provocation”, Serbia put its army on high alert. The Ministry of Defense in Belgrade said that after the “provocation” by the Kosovo special forces, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic issued an order to put some units of the Serbian army and police on high alert. The European Union and NATO called on both sides to exercise restraint.

The Kosovo Police Special Forces were previously deployed at two border crossings in the north of the country. The region is mostly home to members of the Serb ethnic minority who do not recognize the authority of the ethnic Albanian-led government in the capital, Pristina.

Protests after license plate bans

Police units were stationed in accordance with an order from the Kosovo government, according to which drivers with Serbian license plates are required to put on temporary license plates when entering Kosovo. Hundreds of Serbs have protested this demand every day since the order was issued last Monday and have used vehicles to block traffic at border crossings.

In Belgrade’s view, Kosovar registration plates from Kosovo indicate its status as an independent state. Kosovo seceded from Serbia in 2008. However, the government in Belgrade still does not recognize independence and considers Kosovo a breakaway province. Russia, an ally of Serbia, unlike most Western countries, including the USA, does not recognize the independence of Kosovo.

NATO calls for moderation

Kosovo’s President, Fiusa Osmani, has cut short her visit to the United Nations in New York due to developments in her country. Albania expressed concern about the recent “escalation of the situation” and called on Serbia to withdraw its forces from the border area.

Josep Borrell, the European Union representative for foreign affairs, called on the two sides to calm the situation. The special police force must be withdrawn immediately. “Any other provocation or unilateral and uncoordinated action is unacceptable,” he said.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also called for moderation. “It is important that Belgrade and Pristina exercise restraint and resume dialogue,” he said on Twitter after a phone call with Serbian President and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti.

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Huawei CEO: A propaganda reception for Meng in China

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Starting from: 09/26/2021 9:27 AM

Huawei CEO Meng has returned to China – the state media has portrayed him as a folk hero. No mention was made of the release of Canadians. Critics speak of “hostage diplomacy”.

Written by Stephen Wurzel, ARD-Studio Shanghai

Hundreds of people gathered at the airport in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen that evening to receive Meng Wanzhou. The videos show women and men waving flags and singing the Chinese national anthem.

“A Thousand Days of Torture” under house arrest in a villa

After the CFO of technology group Huawei got off the plane waving and smiling happily, he gave a short speech on the runway. “After more than a thousand days of torture, I returned to the bosom of my homeland. The long wait in a foreign land was full of struggle and suffering,” said Meng, who posed in front of the cameras wearing a red dress. , the color of Chinese happiness as well as the ruling Communist Party.

Chinese state media broadcast the triumphant and nationalist Meng’s arrival online and on television. According to the government propaganda newspaper Huanqiu Shibao, also known as the Global Times, more than 60 million people in the People’s Republic have watched the director’s arrival.

Party visits and shopping tours

Meng was arrested in Canada in late 2018 on a US judicial arrest warrant. The accusation: You should have helped circumvent US sanctions against the Iranian leadership. Meng was placed under house arrest shortly thereafter and has since waited in one of her two villas in the western Canadian city of Vancouver for possible extradition to the United States. The 49-year-old had to wear an electronic ankle bracelet, but he had a lot of freedom; Meng has been repeatedly photographed attending concerts and intense shopping trips.

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After returning to China in the evening, she thanked Chinese Head of State and Government Xi Jinping. He worries about the safety of every Chinese citizen, “including my country, and has not lost sight of my plight. I thank the great motherland, the people, the patronage of the Communist Party, the government and the people who stand together take care of me.”

Meng thanked “the homeland, the people and President Xi” pitifully.

Two Canadians arrested in retaliation

Obviously, in response to pressure on the director of Huawei for free, the state and party leadership of China arrested two Canadians at the end of 2018: businessman Michael Spavor and former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig. Both were accused of espionage and held in solitary confinement in China for nearly three years in inhumane conditions.

After a legal deal with the US judiciary, Meng was able to leave Canada on Friday. Shortly thereafter, Spavor and Kovrig were placed on a Canadian government plane in China and departed China for Canada. Diplomats from the participating countries have been searching behind the scenes for a face-saving solution for all parties in recent years.

China’s “Hostage Diplomacy”

Human rights groups are now talking about the “successful hostage diplomacy” of the communist government. This has repeatedly claimed that there is no connection between the Meng, Kovrig, and Spavor cases.

From the point of view of Western diplomats and human rights groups, the events of the past few hours prove otherwise. Sophie Richardson, China director of Human Rights Watch, said the Canadians’ release a few hours after Meng’s house arrest ended shows that “the Chinese leadership is willing to use innocents as a bargaining chip to get what they want from other countries.” . “This is a worrying development.”

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The case has been dismantled as propaganda

Chinese state media represent Meng’s return as a victory for state and party leadership over the Western world. The English-language China Daily wrote that Meng was arrested in Canada because China is a rising power – which is precisely why Meng is now released.

So far, the media in China has not said a word about the fact that the Huawei director has been de facto exchanged with Canadians imprisoned in the People’s Republic of China.

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Official request denied: Taliban not allowed to speak at UN debate

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Rejection of the official request
The Taliban are not allowed to speak at the UN debate

Who represents Afghanistan in the United Nations? This is what the Taliban want to do in the public debate on Monday. But your application is still unsuccessful. It remains unclear who will speak for the state in New York in the future.

Despite their request, the Taliban is unlikely to appear in the general debate at the United Nations General Assembly. The representative officially registered as Afghanistan’s spokesperson for Monday is the former ambassador to the United Nations, Ghulam Isakzai. This was announced by UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

After taking power in Afghanistan, the hardline Islamist Taliban movement applied to the United Nations to formally represent the country on the UN podium – whether through a speech at the current public debate or by nominating an ambassador designated to replace Isakzai. The decision on this is now up to the responsible UN Accreditation Committee. But so far, there has been no scheduled meeting of the commission, which is why the former ambassador to Afghanistan retains his position at least temporarily.

The committee is made up of representatives from nine member states – the USA, Russia, China, Sweden, Namibia, the Bahamas, Bhutan, Sierra Leone and Chile – and decides the representatives, and thus which leaders of the countries are recognized by the United Nations. In practice, the commission is dominated by Washington, Moscow and Beijing.

The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in mid-August. Former President Ashraf Ghani had previously fled the country. Germany, the United States and other Western countries are in talks with them but do not recognize them as legitimate governments.

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