Taliban ‘totalitarianism’ only obstacle to Afghan talks, says minister
04 August 2021 | 12:21 pm
Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar says the "Taliban’s insistence on totalitarianism" is the only obstacle to peace talks in Qatar that so far remain inconclusive as conflict escalates in Afghanistan amid the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country.
In January 2017, an all-female orchestra from Afghanistan performed for world leaders at the World Economic Forum, a symbol of just how far the country had come since the dark days of the Taliban. Viola player Zarifa Adiba was just 18 years old when she led that orchestra in Switzerland. Her memoir, which has just been published in French, is an extraordinary account of how music offered her a chance to show herself, her family and the world what Afghan women are capable of. She joined us for Perspective and told us about her fears for Afghan women and girls, now that the Taliban are in charge once again.
The Taliban government leader asked for international aid and access to about $10 billion in funds frozen after the insurgents took over the country in August. The UN is warning half the country could starve this winter.
By imposing new restrictions on the media and female actors, the Taliban have once again reaffirmed their misogynistic ideology, rights advocates have said.
As Covid-19 infections rise around the EU and some member states impose new restrictions, FRANCE 24 speaks to Greece’s Tourism Minister about the continent’s next steps. We also discuss irregular migration on the European Union's external borders - including those of France and of Greece.
Panjshir Valley became known as the last bastion of the anti-Taliban resistance as the militants swept to power in Afghanistan in August. But it was only a matter of weeks before Panjshir too would fall into Taliban control. Once a bustling hub of activity, Panjshir is now largely deserted. The few residents who have stayed are now under constant surveillance, and are struggling to survive amid a crippling economic crisis. Sonia Ghezali, Shahzaib Wahlah and Solène Chalvon Fioriti report.
Turkey's Finance Minister, Lutfi Elvan, has resigned amid another plunge in the value of the country's currency, the lira. He is being replaced by his deputy, Nureddin Nebati, who supports President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's controversial economic policies. The lira has lost almost half of its value this year as Erdogan has pushed for low interest rates, despite rising inflation. Also today, we look at how some French parents are choosing to rent toys for their children, instead of buying new ones.
The Taliban have promised to end the practice of young girls being sold off to pay debts. However, the Islamist fundamentalists have not clarified how they intend to implement the decree.
French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly granted an interview to FRANCE 24 and RFI in Dakar, Senegal. Parly slammed a "disinformation campaign" aimed at creating "anti-French discourse" in Africa's Sahel region, as France reorganises its military presence there. The minister said she did not believe Russian Wagner Group mercenaries were in the Malian capital Bamako, but added that "that does not mean the current Malian authorities are not planning to bring them there". The arrival of Russian mercenaries in Mali would be "simply unacceptable", she said.
Burkina Faso's Prime Minister Christophe Joseph Marie Dabire has resigned amid an escalating security crisis that led to street protests calling for his ouster. President Roch Marc Christian Kabore accepted Dabire's letter of resignation on Wednesday.
Around 5,000 people every day are crossing the border from Afghanistan into Iran. While Tehran is deporting thousands every week, many are still setting out on the perilous journey that often begins in the city of Herat.
The assault on police officers guarding a polio vaccination team took place a day after the militants had called an end to their truce with the Pakistani government.
More Afghans facing extreme poverty are turning to opium production as a means of survival. Despite promises to the contrary, the Taliban are unlikely to oppose cultivation of the narcotic cash crop.
2 hours ago
China is bracing itself for the possibility property group Evergrande could default on its huge $300 billion debt pile. Many of Evergrande's creditors are ordinary Chinese who may lose much of their life savings.
2 hours ago
Thousands of Malians take to the streets after the junta calls for protests against sanctions imposed by the West African regional bloc ECOWAS. Also, on the 11th anniversary of Ben Ali's ouster, hundreds of demonstrators in Tunisia defy a ban on public gatherings to protest against President Kais Saied's power grab. And we bring you the latest from the Africa Cup of Nations. Our reporters on the ground have all the day's action.
2 hours ago
Boris Johnson has apologized for attending an event in the back garden of 10 Downing Street on May 20, 2020, at which point Britons were prohibited from gathering due to strict coronavirus restrictions. At the start of the weekly session of Prime Minister's Questions, Johnson said he did attend the gathering for 25 minutes before going inside to work. He said he believed the gathering to be a work event, but with hindsight conceded he should have sent attendees back inside.
3 hours ago
After a pause due to the pandemic, Dion had been scheduled to resume her world tour in November 2021 with a slate of performances in Las Vegas. Those dates were canceled in October after she began “experiencing severe and persistent muscle spasms,” she said at the time on Twitter.
4 hours ago
The United States has accused Russia of planning a so-called “false flag” operation in eastern Ukraine, in an attempt to create an excuse for an invasion. The Pentagon says there is evidence Russian agents might already be in the country to carry out acts of sabotage and blame Ukraine for them.
4 hours ago
China's economy grew by 8.1 percent last year, but the expansion slowed towards the end of 2021. FRANCE 24's Cole Stangler takes a closer look at the factors holding up growth, from sluggish retail sales to the high cost of Covid-19 lockdowns.