UN Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi held talks last week with the Taliban militia in an attempt to ease the tension between Afghanistan and Iran. The build-up of troops along the Iranian-Afghan border has continued to increase since August, when members of the Taliban killed eight Iranian diplomats while taking control of Mazar-i Sharif in northern Afghanistan.
Brahimi reported that the tension between the two countries began to defuse when the Taliban agreed to release all of the Iranian prisoners held in Afghanistan. Although both countries continue to stock their common border with military personnel, the possibility of a face-to-face talk between Iran and the Taliban looks hopeful.
Fighting within Afghanistan shows no sign of ceasing. The ongoing fighting between the Taliban and its opponents has prevented humanitarian groups, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, from entering the country and administering aid which is desperately needed during such heightened conflict.
1/28/2015 Senator Boxer Urges President to Continue Support for UN Population Fund - Earlier this week, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) along with 21 of her Senate colleagues sent a letter to President Obama calling on him to maintain support for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
UNFPA, which promotes maternal and reproductive health, conducts major demographic surveys, and campaigns against fistula and female genital mutilation, supports programs in over 150 countries. . . .