Russia to send humanitarian aid to Afghanistan: Report

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Russia is planning to send food and medicine to Afghanistan soon as humanitarian aid, the RIA news agency cited Russia’s foreign ministry as saying on Monday.

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Foreign countries greeted the make-up of the new government in Afghanistan with caution and dismay last week after the Taliban appointed hardline veteran figures to top positions, including several with a US bounty on their head.

Details of the aid that will be sent are yet to be revealed.

EU prepares for Afghan asylum seekers

The EU has been preparing for the arrival of Afghans seeking asylum, whether or not people flee en masse from the new Taliban government, EU’s chief border agency has said, noting that million have already been displaced in neighboring countries.

In an interview, Fabrice Leggeri, director-general of border agency Frontex, told Reuters the body was preparing for a possible surge, both through traditional routes such as from Turkey to Greece, and new routes such as via Belarus, which Brussels accuses of sending illegal migrants across the frontier.

Frontex is “monitoring what’s going on” inside Afghanistan itself, but also keeping an eye on Afghan communities in neighboring states, he said, listing Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
“Our expectation is that depending on what’s going on in Afghanistan of course people in need of international protection might try to flee from Afghanistan. But what will very likely happen first is that the Afghan communities living abroad might try to move to the European Union.”

The EU has sought to reform its migration system after a crisis in 2015-2016, when more than a million people arrived, most crossing the Balkans on foot to reach northern Europe.

First commercial flight lands in Kabul since Taliban takeover

On Monday, the first foreign commercial flight since the Taliban takeover on August 15 landed in Kabul.

A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane carrying a handful of passengers touched down at Kabul airport, AFP reported.

“There was hardly anyone on the plane, around 10 people... maybe more staff than passengers,” said an AFP journalist aboard the flight from Islamabad.

A PIA spokesman said at the weekend that the airline was keen to resume regular commercial services, but it was too soon to say how frequently flights between the two capitals would operate.

Kabul airport was severely damaged during a chaotic evacuation of more than 120,000 people that ended with the withdrawal of US forces on August 30. The Taliban have been scrambling to get it operating again with technical assistance from Qatar and other nations.

With Reuters and AFP

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