Blinken, EU counterpart discuss Afghanistan, global health

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The two officials reaffirmed the importance of a successful Seventh Replenishment Conference for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria…reports Asian Lite News

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell on Thursday discussed by telephone the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan and global health, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.

“Secretary Blinken and High Representative Borrell discussed their shared commitment to support the Afghan people through Afghanistan’s ongoing economic and humanitarian crises as well as the importance of working with the broader international community, to support the education of Afghan girls,” Price said in a statement.

The two officials reaffirmed the importance of a successful Seventh Replenishment Conference for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which US President Joe Biden will host during the United Nations General Assembly in New York later this month, the statement said.

Price also confirmed the United States’ commitment to helping the Global Fund reach its funding goals in order to more effectively fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as well as build resilient and sustainable health systems.

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Humanitarian parole

The United States will discontinue the use of a humanitarian process known as parole to admit at-risk Afghans and will instead focus on resettling certain Afghan evacuees who qualify for immigration programs that provide permanent legal status, as per reports.

“We are adopting a new model where Afghans will travel directly to the communities where they will be moving with the help of Refugee Resettlement organizations without a safe haven stopover in the United States,” White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre during a press briefing said on Thursday (local time).

She was responding to a question about if the Biden administration is ending humanitarian parole for Afghan refugees, as per Sputnik News Agency.

The White House emphasized that the Biden administration will now focus on work to improve efforts to help Afghan allies resettle in the United States and reunite with family members still in Afghanistan. The administration will also seek to provide these individuals with a pathway to permanent residency status in the United States, Jean-Pierre added.

Since the United States withdrew from Afghanistan in August 2021, it has resettled about 86,000 Afghans under the “Operation Allies Welcome.” Around 90 per cent of them came in through the parole process. (ANI/Sputnik)

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