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Foreign Policy

Cracks are rising within the Taliban authorities

Here is today’s foreign policy: The Taliban a month since taking over Kabul, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz says he can “accept” the new Iran deal, and HaitiThe UK Prime Minister dismisses the chief prosecutor who has been investigating murder.

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Here is today’s foreign policy: The Taliban a month since taking over Kabul, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz says he can “accept” the new Iran deal, and HaitiThe UK Prime Minister dismisses the chief prosecutor who has been investigating murder.

If you would like to receive Morning Letter in your inbox every weekday, please log in here.

The Taliban celebrate a month in office

Today it has been a month since the Taliban stormed Kabul, fleeing President Ashraf Ghani and accelerating the transition to a new government.

In some ways, the takeover was a complete success. There is no longer a credible military challenge to Taliban rule, and so the group can now focus on turning the country back into the Islamic emirate it proclaimed in the 1990s.

But internally, there are cracks in the Taliban leadership.

On Tuesday, the BBC’s Pashto Language Service reported a violent disagreement between two senior Taliban leaders over the composition of the new government and recognition for the group’s quick victory. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, co-founder of the Taliban and deputy interim prime minister, reportedly clashed with Khalil ur-Rahman Haqqani, the transitional refugee minister and key figure in the Haqqani network’s militant United States.

The dispute between winners is old: Baradar defended his team’s diplomacy to ensure success, while Haqqani stood on the battlefield for the group’s tactical acumen. The fight is said to have become physical when rival entourages got into brawls. Baradar reportedly fled to Kandahar, where a Taliban spokesman said he met with the top leader of the group and later found some rest.

The episode and its lack of public appearances sparked speculation on social media that Baradar had died. (Taliban’s denial has been more difficult to accept since it took the group two years to confirm the death of their leader, Mullah Omar.)

A “dangerous” situation. While political battles are fought, the humanitarian situation is nowhere near improving. On Monday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that the Afghans were facing their “most dangerous hour” as the body warned of dire consequences if the aid goals were not achieved. One million children are at risk of starvation or death, the United Nations warned, and one in three Afghanis does not know where their next meal will come from.

The way to recognition. Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, speaking to the media for the first time since his appointment, appealed to the world to recognize the new leadership and reiterated that the group would not allow the country to become a haven for terrorist groups. He also criticized the US for cutting off urgently needed funds. “[We] helped the US to evacuate their last person, but unfortunately instead of thanking us, the US has frozen our assets, ”Muttaqi said.

Despite US reservations, Muttaqi’s appeal is likely to find an international audience. On Tuesday, Guterres said it was “very important in the present moment to unite with the Taliban on all aspects that affect the international community,” while EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the bloc had “no option but to engage with them To unite the Taliban ”. .

What we are following today

Haiti’s power struggle. Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry fired the country’s attorney general when he was in the middle of an investigation into the Haitian leader. Prosecutors asked a judge to indict Prime Minister Ariel Henry in connection with the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.

Former Port-au-Prince prosecutor Bed-Ford Claude also called for a travel ban for Henry on a file containing allegations that one of the prime suspects in the case contacted Henry twice in the hours following the murder. Henry, who was appointed prime minister shortly before Moïse’s death, ordered Claude’s dismissal on Monday, citing a “serious administrative error,” according to a letter from the Associated Press.

Iran’s new diplomatic team. The new Iranian government replaced Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi with Ali Bagheri-Kani on Tuesday and removed a diplomat who had served as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator in 2015 and in the last rounds of talks this year. Bagheri-Kani, like the new President Ebrahim Raisi, has been labeled an opponent of the 2015 agreement and was part of the Iranian nuclear negotiating team during the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Gantz is open to Iran deal. Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in an exclusive interview with Foreign Policy that he could “accept” a new nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers. “I would accept the current US approach of putting the Iranian nuclear program back in a box,” said Gantz Neri Zilber in an interview held last week. The statements show a departure from the previous government of Benjamin Netanyahu, which opposed the deal and tried to undermine it. Gantz still called for a “viable US-led Plan B” of economic pressure should talks stall. Otherwise, Gantz said, Israel would consider its own “Plan C” as a military option.

Vaccinate children. Frank D’Amelio, Pfizer’s Chief Financial Officer, suggested that the company would soon be offering its COVID-19 vaccine to children 6 months old when he gave an overview of the company’s plans for the coming months at the Request FDA approval for an emergency. Speaking to a bank conference Tuesday, D’Amelio said the results of the Phase III trials will be released in September and, if promising, would lead to an FDA filing in October.

US-China Relations. The prospect of a bilateral summit meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping is apparently no closer than after Xi avoided the subject of a face-to-face meeting Biden suggested one in a phone call between the two leaders last week, the Financial Times reports.

The apparent snub was denied by the White House as National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan described the version of events as “not an accurate representation of the call”. Period. “The report means that talks at the upcoming G-20 summit, which has long been debated as a possible meeting place for the two heads of state and government, are unlikely. Xi’s reluctance could be out of great caution: the Chinese head of state has had the country since Do not leave the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The police in Dresden asked for clues after a small balloon caused a large-scale power failure. An estimated 300,000 households were affected by the blackout, which also brought trams, factories and hospitals to a standstill, while dozens were reportedly trapped in elevators. The incident is believed to have started after an aluminum foil balloon came into contact with two live electrical conductors and caused a short circuit.

“We are currently assuming that it was at best carelessness or simply coincidence,” said police spokesman Thomas Geithner. “But we cannot rule out a foul 100% either.”

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