Blinken appoints former US adviser Amiri as special envoy for Afghanistan women According to Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the end of 2021 and holds a news conference with the media at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, U.S., December 21, 2021. REUTERS/ Evelyn Hockstein / Pool

By Jonathan Landay and Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday named Rina Amiri, a former US government adviser who has criticized the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, as her special envoy on women and children. girls and human rights in Afghanistan.

“We look forward to a peaceful, stable and secure Afghanistan, where all Afghans can live and develop comprehensively politically, economically and socially. Special Envoy Amiri will work closely together. with me towards that goal,” Blinken said in a statement.

Amiri has spent two decades advising governments, the United Nations, and consulting organizations on issues related to Afghanistan. Under former President Barack Obama, she served as a senior adviser to the US special representative in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Blinken appointed Stephenie Foster, a veteran of the State Department, as the new senior adviser to women and girls on US operations to evacuate and resettle at-risk Afghans. The Taliban retaliated after it took over the country.

The Taliban invaded Afghanistan in August when the old Western-backed government collapsed and the last American soldiers withdrew after 20 years of war.

Since then, the Taliban have restricted the rights of women and girls, banning most of the former from working and most of the latter from attending schools that American officials decry as spying on parts. radical Islam and ensure that they will abide by human rights.

The Biden administration has been criticized by women’s rights groups for failing to ensure safe passage for activists and others long targeted by the Taliban.

Amiri told Reuters earlier this year that the process of evacuating the women at risk was a disaster.

Ms. Biden made it clear early on in high-level policy discussions that concerns about women’s rights would not influence his decision to leave Afghanistan, despite her campaign promises to formulate policy. gender-sensitive foreign policy, she said.

Earlier this week, the Taliban decided that women traveling more than 45 miles (72 km) should be accompanied by a close male family member. They also forbid playing music in the car.

The United States and other governments have accused the Taliban of failing to form an “inclusive” government, and they have expressed concern about reports of summary executions and disappearances of former members of security forces. Afghan security.

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