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U.S. appoints two women to top posts for Afghanistan

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KABUL: The U.S. has appointed two women diplomats to senior posts representing Washington in Afghanistan, as the country is seeing women’s rights deteriorate under the new Taliban rule.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken appointed Rina Amiri as a special envoy for Afghan women, girls and human rights.

Amiri has spent two decades advising governments, the UN and think-tanks on issues related to Afghanistan. Under former US President Barack Obama, she served as a senior adviser to the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

On Twitter, Blink said, “Rina brings over two decades of expertise and specialized knowledge that will advance our vital work toward a more peaceful, stable and secure Afghanistan for all.”

Blinken also named Stephenie Foster, a Department of State veteran, as a new senior adviser for women and girls to US operations to evacuate and resettle Afghans at risk of retaliation from the Taliban after it took over the country.

The appointments come more than four months after the Taliban overran the country as the former Western-backed government collapsed and the last US troops withdrew after 20 years of war.

Since then, the Taliban has curbed the rights of women and girls, banning most of the former from working and most of the latter from attending schools in what US officials decry as back-tracking from assurances they gave to observe human rights.

This is as on Sunday Taliban officials issued an edict prohibiting women from travelling more than 75km by road unless they are accompanied by a close male relative.

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