Baztab News

Saudi Arabia’s role crucial in Afghanistan peace process

10 Jul 2018 The Kabul Times The Kabul Times

As preparations are under way in Saudi Arabia for ‘International Conference of Muslim Scholars on Peace and Stability in Afghanistan’, Afghan Senators and political experts welcome role of Saudi Arabia in Afghanistan peace process. They hope that religious ulema and scholars of the Islamic world will declare their stance against the ongoing war and violence in Afghanistan, saying that the Taliban group will then have no reason for continuing their war against the people of Afghanistan. Members of Afghanistan Senate stressed that holding the ‘International Conference of Muslim Scholars on Peace and Stability in Afghanistan’ is very significant for creating national, regional and global consensus and ending the ongoing war in the country. “Undoubtedly, Saudi Arabia can play an effective role in Afghanistan peace talks although it is very late for holding such conferences, but the country has its particular position in this regard,” said Mohammad Alam Ezedyar, deputy of Afghanistan Senate. He believes that the anticipation of Afghanistan people from Muslim scholars in the conference is that they declare the ongoing war and violence in the country as illegal, but unfortunately a number of Arab imams and scholars might somehow support the Afghan war. Meanwhile, a number of Afghan political experts and representatives of people in parliament believe that Saudi Arabia can cooperate through Pakistan with Afghanistan in peace process. “As Saudi Arabia has powerful relations with Pakistan, the country can play effective role in Afghanistan peace process but only if the international community exerts pressures on Saudi Arabia,” said Amir Mohammad, an Afghan political expert. He added that Saudi Arabia as a big and powerful Islamic country had old relations with the Taliban group and could exert pressure on Pakistan to change its policy in connection with counter terrorism effort and peace process in Afghanistan. One of issues in Afghanistan peace process is the role of regional and world countries, but can such efforts be effective for convincing armed groups to hold peace talks with Afghanistan government? Answering the question, Javed Kohistani, another Afghan political and military expert, says various regional and world countries have played role and made efforts towards bringing peace to Afghanistan since High Peace Council was created. “If regional and world countries really and honestly cooperate with Afghanistan in peace process, it will be very effective and useful and peace can be maintained in the country as relations of Afghanistan and the region have been tied up,” Kohistani added. Jamal Farahmand, another Afghan political expert, says Afghanistan government should make further effort and hold such conferences inside and outside of the country so ways can be found for bringing peace in the country. He added that the international conference of religious scholars and ulema for peace and stability in Afghanistan in Saudi Arabia can be a good message for armed Taliban group as they should know that no countries of the world are in favor of war in Afghanistan and religious scholars will gather in the conference to denounce and declare the ongoing war in Afghanistan as illegal. It is worth mentioning that eminent scholars from Afghanistan as well as from various parts of the world will attend the conference, which is being convened on the basis of the resolutions of the Islamic Summit and the session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states. Suraya Raiszada The post Saudi Arabia’s role crucial in Afghanistan peace process appeared first on The Kabul Times.

Afghanistan, regional countries should do more to prevent drug-trafficking

10 Jul 2018 The Kabul Times The Kabul Times

Narcotics is a vicious phenomenon threatening national security and affecting political, economic and national identification of the country. Fighting the phenomenon is one of priorities of relevant organs. According to the Counter Narcotics Justice Centre (CNJC),drug-trafficking has considerably increased in Afghanistan comparing to last year. “In general, 230 people including 13 women, two foreigners and nine personnel of public services who have been involved in drug-trafficking have been arrested by counter narcotics police forces across the country,” the CNJC spokesperson added. 67 of the arrested drug-traffickers by using various ways and tricks wanted to carry drugs to India and Saudi Arabia through Hamid Karzai International Airport. Meanwhile, preliminary court in open sessions has sentenced 179 people including one woman in connection with 136 cases of trafficking narcotics and drugs from 1 – 20 years imprisonment. The CNJC spokesperson added that Kabul by having 91 cases and Nangarhar by 33 cases were top among other provinces of the country. Last year, 177 people including seven personnel of public services, six women and two Iranian had been detained in accusation of drug-trafficking in the country. There are several government and non-government institutions operating in counter narcotics effort in the country, but their operation, efforts and programs have not been effective based on reports. Meanwhile, a member of counter narcotics commission for Lower House of Parliament Chaman Shah Etimadi says programs that have been followed in fight against narcotics and drugs in the country have not been effective as drug-trafficking and production for various types of drugs have increased recently in the country comparing to previous years. “Any efforts that have been made towards counter narcotics in the country are unfortunately failed efforts and there have been no achievements in this regard as poppy cultivation, drug-trafficking and number of drug-addicts have unprecedentedly increased across the country,” Etimadi said. He added that poverty, unemployment and increasing insecurities in the country have resulted in increasing of drug-trafficking and poppy cultivation. In the meantime, poppy is continuing to be widely cultivated in various parts of the country where thousands of acres of land have been allocated for cultivation of poppy. Moreover, there are thousands of people and bonds purchasing and using various types of drugs in cities and remotest areas in our country as well as other neighboring countries. Currently, Afghanistan and regional countries as one chain are facing with problem of increasing narcotics and drug-trafficking. For instance, Afghanistan as producer of narcotics and drugs and neighboring countries as users and transit route of drugs to European countries should now do more to prevent from increasing of the phenomenon in the region. All regional countries should give hands together and jointly fight the phenomenon. Reaching to an agreement in this regard and taking practical steps towards counter narcotics can help prevent the phenomenon in the region. Lailuma Noori The post Afghanistan, regional countries should do more to prevent drug-trafficking appeared first on The Kabul Times.

‘We belong to Afghanistan’

10 Jul 2018 The Kabul Times The Kabul Times

When I saw the news of the brutal suicide attack on Afghanistan’s Sikhs and Hindus on Sunday, my first instinct was to call my friend and regular source Rawail Singh for more details. I didn’t realize until his phone went unanswered that the Kabul-based peace activist had been among the 19 people killed, 17 of them Sikhs or Hindus, while waiting to meet Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in Jalalabad. Singh was one of the kindest and most recognizable faces in Kabul’s nascent civil society and one of the most active members of his community. He’d had many offers to help him and his family leave Afghanistan, but he insisted that he was a son of the Afghan soil and refused to depart a country where he still saw tremendous potential. “Why would I leave? This is my land, my country, my culture. Historically, we belong to Afghanistan. One of the founding leaders of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, visited Afghanistan in 1520. We’ve been his followers since then,” he told me last year. The loss of Singh, who was in his late 40s, isn’t just a tragedy for those who knew him; it may be the final deathblow to a community that was once a symbol of a very different Afghanistan. “Within a few minutes, a significant part of our fraternity was wiped out: our leaders, elders, and mentors,” said Sachdeva Omprakash, an Afghan Hindu attending the mass funeral on Monday at the Bagh Bala Gurdwara in Kabul, one of a handful of temples left in the city. Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan closely identify with each other’s communities, both politically and socially, as non-Muslim minorities. As in Iraq and Syria, the long war in Afghanistan has been particularly harsh on religious minorities. Afghanistan once had thriving Sikh and Hindu communities, but today, the numbers have been reduced to only the most determined and persistent. On Monday, the Gurdwara was filled with sounds of women and children wailing for the martyred leaders and muted sniffles from the men, who refused to allow themselves the luxury of mourning amid preparation of last rites and filing documentation to identify their compatriots. “It’s not as if we haven’t suffered enough already,” Omprakash said, referring to the persecution at the hands of every Afghan government since 1992. “There were 400,000 families here once,” he said, “Now there are not even 400.” Most estimates put the community at a high of about 250,000 people at its peak. Today, while there are no official records, community leaders believe there are just 1,400 Sikhs and Hindus remaining in all of Afghanistan. Two years ago, I was told this figure was closer to 3,000. But Singh had been determined to prove he could be both a Sikh and an Afghan. He could be phlegmatic about the persecutions his community faced. “Believe it or not, the Taliban government was more tolerant of us than the mujahideen government before them,” Singh told me in 2016, referring to the brief-lived Islamic State of Afghanistan government of 1992 to 1996. “Of course, they did discriminate, and we also had to wear certain pieces of clothing that identified us, but they also had court hearings [in case of disputes within communities] and were often fair in their judgement, even if it was prejudiced toward non-Muslims,” he recalled. “It was a different society before 1992. Hindus and Sikhs lived in prosperity and harmony in Afghanistan,” he told me. “Our community members were mostly business owners, and finance and trading in Afghanistan was largely operated by Hindus and Sikhs. When the mujahideen came to power, this community became a target for criminals controlled by them. There was widespread kidnappings, extortion, and banditry, as well as religious persecution.” Singh helped smuggle his own relatives to India via Pakistan in the 1990s, hidden in trucks transporting goods over the border. But he soon returned, newly married and unwilling to give up on his homeland. Yet even after the fall of the Taliban in 2001, there was little hope for the community. “Our children were harassed in schools during the civilwar — many of them were forced to drop out, affecting a whole generation. Things didn’t improve during the Taliban, and even today, little has been done to accommodate our children,” he explained. The new Afghan government that formed after the fall of the Taliban in 2001 attempted to build a more tolerant and inclusive system of governance. Under then-President Hamid Karzai, one seat in the upper house of the Afghan parliament was allotted to Sikhs and Hindus. However, despite Karzai’s best attempt to allow the Hindus and Sikhs to contest the lower house, the move was blocked by parliamentarians. In 2016, though, President Ashraf Ghani, by a presidential decree, made it possible for the minority community to elect a representative to the new parliament in the upcoming elections. That candidate, Avtar Singh, died alongside Rawail Singh a week ago. Rawail Singh had already lived in a kinder, more tolerant Afghanistan. He was hopeful that things could change. He wanted to raise his three children as close to their heritage and culture as possible, and they helped in his peace activism. A mural of his youngest daughter Komal’s eyes graces the walls outside the National Directorate of Security — Afghanistan’s intelligence agency — at a busy checkpoint in central Kabul, carrying an anti-corruption message. For all of Singh’s message of hope, there was little of it to be found at the funeral, as one community member told me: “Many of us aren’t sure if we will stay in Afghanistan anymore. Unfortunately, a lot of us can’t afford to leave right now, but we are going to try. If we don’t, we will all perish here.” Foreign Policy The post ‘We belong to Afghanistan’ appeared first on The Kabul Times.

Afghanistan: A Theatre for Managing India-China Rivalry

10 Jul 2018 The Kabul Times The Kabul Times

The 21st century has been described as the “Asian Century”. For good and bad and for right and wrong reasons, the century in which we live appears to be centred on this vast continent both temporally and spatially. Not only is Asia home to myriad conflicts, but this very part of the world has registered staggering economic and strategic success stories as well. In light of the significance that Asia has come to assume, India and China and their respective economic, political and strategic successes and failures have drawn global attention. As individual countries, their increasing currency in the international order is evident. Resultantly, the rivalry between these two burgeoning economies has generated much global interest. Their relations have been of concern not only to the countries in their common neighbourhood but also in distant lands where they seek to take their influence to. One such country where both India and China are investing their resources and reputation is Afghanistan. However, unlike other countries and matters on which they compete and diverge, this landlocked country is being imagined as a possible theatre of cooperation between these two rising powers. To understand why India and China look willing to cooperate both in and on Afghanistan, it is critical to understand their respective reasons for involvement in this country in the first place. Chinese Checkers in Afghanistan China’s assistance to Afghanistan, especially when compared to India, has been paltry. Its interest in the international and multilateral activities concerning Afghanistan too had been minimal for the first decade following the USA-led intervention there. Visits and exchanges along with minor economic agreements were amongst the only activities that took place between them at the bilateral level. Things, however, started to take a different turn beginning 2011. These winds of change, if you may, were ushered by China’s own domestic insecurity as well as because of USA’s decision to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. What in the decade between 2001 and 2011 was marked by disinterest and passive participation transformed itself into a policy of active engagement both in and on Afghanistan. The stress on these two prepositions – in and on – stems from the different ways in which China approached this country. Where the former took the shape of bilateral economic investments, political exchanges, strategic cooperation and the like, the latter was about engaging in multilateral forums concerning Afghanistan. China’s domestic requirements, in particular, have had a major impact on the recalibration of its approach towards Afghanistan. It has been observed that China’s foreign policy is like an external extension of its domestic concerns – “China does not have a foreign policy. We only have a domestic policy, even in our relations with other countries”. This outward expansion of internally serving goals has meant that Afghanistan became an area of concern for China only when the instability in Afghanistan started to impinge on its domestic security. The attacks in its frontier region of Xinjiang and in other major Chinese cities were seen as a result of rising extremism, which directly and indirectly, was related to the seething instability in Afghanistan. China’s interest in Afghanistan’s stability, therefore, had less to do with its external ambitions and image abroad. Rather, it was wary of the spill-over effects that instability in Afghanistan had on its own domestic environment. It was only later – following the drawdown of international troops in 2014 – that its involvement in Afghanistan took a more pro-active shape. It moved from being a ‘home-abroad’ concern into a matter that was now of relevance to China’s projection of its intent and capabilities as a responsible power. That being said, China still sees the USA as the “leading power” on Afghanistan. It has been observed that the Chinese assessment of the situation in Afghanistan coincides with that of the western nations, in particular the USA. But of late, China’s interest in getting into the thick of things has been witnessed. Not only has it becoming a willing partner in multilateral negotiations on Afghanistan, but it is also taking suo-moto cognisance of the need to promote reconciliation in this country. To this effect, it has become an active member of (relatively) new multilateral initiatives such as the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG), Moscow peace process and the like. On its own, China has not only extended its ‘good offices’ i.e. mediatory role between Afghanistan and Pakistan, but it has also put in place new regional mechanisms like the Quadrilateral Cooperation and Coordination Mechanism (QCCM) to create multilateral consensus on Afghanistan. Besides these, China’s institutional baby, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), has meditated much on the “Afghan Question”. In fact, Shanghai Five with which it had begun, was “focused on mutual intraregional efforts to curb terrorism, separatism and extremism in Central Asia”, and whose focal concern was the instability in Afghanistan. Given the membership, mandate and the institutional mandate of the SCO, the “Shanghai Spirit” can provide a more amicable platform for the major stakeholders in the Afghan conflict to wrap their heads around this issue. India’s Status Quest in Afghanistan A lot has been written about the role of India in Afghanistan. As South Asia’s largest and globally the fifth biggest donor to Afghanistan, the Indian contributions to this country have been recognised and appreciated for the tangible effects they have produced. The path to this acknowledgement, however, was not smooth. Beset with global reluctance and regional insecurities, the Indian assistance to Afghanistan was affected by indirect challenges and direct threats and actions. Notwithstanding the losses in men and material, India has been a major source of economic, humanitarian and social assistance to Afghanistan. But why did India persist in Afghanistan despite being given the short end of the stick for the greatest part? The answer lies in India’s imagination of its status as a rising power. As noted by Pant, Afghanistan has been a “test-case” for India; a test-case, which in my opinion, has been both because of and for status. Status, which is essentially... The post Afghanistan: A Theatre for Managing India-China Rivalry appeared first on The Kabul Times.

Change in Trade balance deficit still not satisfactory, CE Abdullah

10 Jul 2018 The Kabul Times The Kabul Times

KABUL: Chaired by Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, the Council of Ministers Economic Committee (CMEC) held meeting on Monday to review agricultural crops’ exports, imports and standardization, Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) reported. He said despite positive changes in trade balance deficit, still the situation was not satisfactory, adding there should be no delay in implementation of the programs, according to the agency. The ministry of economy presented the population’s national policy draft to the meeting, based on which in 1950, Afghanistan’s population was estimated to be 7.8 million and the number reached to 32.5 million in 2015, BNA added. Within the policy, a specific framework has been established for prioritization, coordination and execution of population related programs in the country to balance the population growth, BNA went on to say. Calling population’s national policy draft codification a positive step, Dr. Abdullah said the CMs meeting should further discuss population growth. Likewise, the finance ministry reported about donor countries’ assistance to Afghanistan from 1395-1396 solar years. According to the report, in Brussels conference, the international community has committed to assist $15.2 billion, $4.3 billion of which has been paid by now. “Balance deficit has had positive change, but we should not be satisfied, because, a small shortcoming would affect all sections,” CE Abdullah said. He stressed all ministries were responsible to cooperate in implementation of agriculture growth policy. The meeting also discussed establishment of economic free zones, domestic products growth, exports’ increase, investment of a private sector to generate 200 mgw solar power and dollar smuggling. The Kabul Times The post Change in Trade balance deficit still not satisfactory, CE Abdullah appeared first on The Kabul Times.

President Ghani praises US strategy for South Asia

10 Jul 2018 The Kabul Times The Kabul Times

KABUL: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo used an unannounced trip to Afghanistan on Monday to step up the Trump administration’s calls for peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban. Flying into Kabul after visiting Vietnam, Pompeo made the appeal in meetings with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Dr, Abdullah Abdullah. “The United States will support, facilitate and participate in these discussions,” Pompeo later told journalists, stressing that any talks would be “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned and his country would continue supporting Afghanistan. Pompeo added: “The region and the world are all tired of what are taking place here in the same way that the Afghan people are no longer interested in seeing war.” Speaking at Monday’s news conference, President Ghani praised the Trump administration’s South Asia strategy, which included sending more American forces and pressuring neighboring Pakistan to do more to stop militants coming over its border into Afghanistan. “Because of this strategy and the conditions-based nature of it, we, the members of the government, have been able to take bold steps outside the box and articulate an agenda of peace that is truly comprehensive and asks for engagement,” President Ghani said, citing the recent cease-fire. Pompeo also added, perhaps optimistically given Afghanistan’s long history of resisting foreign forces, that the Taliban were “beginning to see that they cannot wait us out.” Pompeo left Afghanistan for the United Arab Emirates, where he will meet Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The Kabul Times The post President Ghani praises US strategy for South Asia appeared first on The Kabul Times.

Russia: 90 Syrian villages, towns join government truce

10 Jul 2018 The Kabul Times The Kabul Times

Russia says the number of villages and towns that have joined a Moscow-brokered truce with the Syrian government in southwestern Syria has risen to 90. The Center for Reconciliation in Syria also said Monday that the Russian military planned to evacuate up to 1,000 people from the Arab country’s southwest, RIA news agency reported. They would exit via a humanitarian corridor near the city of Dara’a and be transferred to Syria’s northern Idlib Province, it added. Russia has been lending aerial support to an ongoing push by Syria to liberate Dara’a Province and its neighboring provinces of Quneitra and Suwaida, which form Syria’s southern tip. The evacuation comes after Jordan refused to let in those who have been displaced by the operation. Meanwhile, the official Syrian news agency SANA said life was returning to normal in Dara’a city, with people “feeling safer after years of being subjected to shelling and sniper attacks carried out by the terrorists.” SANA also said that the army had confronted an Israeli aerial aggression targeting the T-4 airbase in the countryside of the western city of Homs. The army “downed a number of missiles which targeted T-4 airport and hit one of the attacking warplanes, forcing the others to leave the airspace,” it reported. Israel has repeatedly targeted the positions of the army and its allies inside Syria using the Lebanese airspace. The regime also provides medical treatment to Takfiri terrorists fleeing into the occupied Syrian territory of the Golan Heights. Presstv The post Russia: 90 Syrian villages, towns join government truce appeared first on The Kabul Times.

S. Arabia’s Ulema Conference & its impact on peace in Afghanistan

10 Jul 2018 The Kabul Times The Kabul Times

On the eve of Ulema conference in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi government has urged Taliban to stop fighting and recognizePresident Mohammad Ashraf Ghani’s led administration.In invitation letters sent to Pakistan and Afghan scholars on behalf of OIC, the kingdom slammed all armed groups active in the country as terrorists. The International Ulema Conference for peace, security and reconciliation in Afghanistan is to be held in Jeddah and Makkah on July 10 and 11 respectively. A key objective behind the conference is to reject “erroneous interpretations of Islamic views by terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan”. Meanwhile, the Imam of Haramain Sharifain has hailed the upcoming ulema conference as crucial, saying it would improve the kingdom’s role in the Afghan peace process.He said the Saudis loved Afghanistan and its people and prayed for the restoration of peace in the war-torn country. Since Mohammed bin Salman was appointed as Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince in June 2017, the Saudi monarchy has stepped up its criticisms of countries that continue to provide financial support, military aid, or diplomatic legitimacy to the Taliban. This shift in policy can be explained by Riyadh’s desire to align its policies more closely with U.S. efforts to cut the Taliban off from international sponsors. To encourage more Taliban members to accept a political settlement, Saudi Arabia has offered itself as a venue for clerics and religious scholars who believe that Taliban’s ongoing prosecution of the war in Afghanistan violates Islamic principles. On April 28, 2018, the Afghan High Peace Council announced that a conference would be hosted in Jeddah in July, featuring Islamic scholars who believe that Taliban’s struggle for power in Afghanistan is illegal under Islamic law. Indeed, such conferences are needed to be held more frequently not only in Afghanistan but also in other Muslim countries. Terrorists are destructing the image of Islam and thereligion is not that of Afghans only, but it pertains to more than 2 billion people around the world. Terrorism and extremism are the greatest challenges facing the Muslim Ummah today and therefore it becomes the responsibility of the Islamic thinkers, scholars and Ulema to counter those wrong interpretation and misuse of Islamic codes. After the formation of the National Unity Government (NUG) in Afghanistan, President Ghani traveled to Saudi Arabia thrice and also released a statement in support of Saudi Arabia in Yemen war and joined the anti “terrorism” coalition under the leadership of Saudi Arabia. In addition, the Chief Executive also raised the issue of organizing a conference of Muslim Ulema in his visit to Saudi Arabia in October 2016. Utilizing its improved relations with Saudi Arabia, the Afghan government is making efforts to hold such a conference in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia as the most important Islamic country on the one hand, and OIC an important Islamic organization on the other hand are important in achieving outcomes that the Afghan government expects from such conference. The post S. Arabia’s Ulema Conference & its impact on peace in Afghanistan appeared first on The Kabul Times.

Afghans responsible to protect, promote culture: Minister Safi

10 Jul 2018 The Kabul Times The Kabul Times

KABUL: Acting and Nominee Minister of Information and Culture Hasina Safi discussed cultural cooperation during a meeting with cultural director of UNESCO Office in Kabul here yesterday, BNA reported. According to agency, the cultural director of UNESCO briefed acting minister on organization’s cultural activities in Afghanistan, saying cultural heritage preservation was their main priority. According to him UNESCO has cultural cooperation with Afghanistan since 1948 and has so far identified more than 2000 historical monuments in the country, assuring his organization’s continued cooperation with Ministry of Information and Culture. Praising UNESCO’s activities in Afghanistan, Minister Safi said Afghanistan owning rich cultural heritage and that country’s people having crucial role to promote and protect it. The Kabul Times The post Afghans responsible to protect, promote culture: Minister Safi appeared first on The Kabul Times.

“Afghans traditions, cultural values, peace & unity messages should be considered in publications,” Minister Safi

10 Jul 2018 The Kabul Times The Kabul Times

KABUL: In a meeting with Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) leading panel and staffs, acting and nominee Minister of Information and Culture Hasina Safi heard their problems and demands, the agency reported. Representing others, BNA director Khalil Minawi briefed the minister on agency’s activities, achievements and challenges. The director went on saying that the agency was producing around 150 news and reports of domestic and foreign affairs on daily basis and publishing itthrough its website and the state-run papers of Anis, Hiwad, Islah and The Kabul Times as well as the national Radio and Television of Afghanistan. Director of the agency besides briefing the minister on establishment of newsroom and easing staffs with new equipment, enumerated a number of problems and challenges, including lack of transportation and reporting equipment. He also drew attention of the minister on digitalization of news and photo archive of the agency. Assuring to address the problems of the agency, Minister Safi said steps to be taken on the aspect after assessment of the Independent Administration Reform and Civil Services Commission (IARCSC). “Afghan traditions, Cultural values, peace messages and national unity should be considered in publications,” the minister told the agency staffs. The Kabul Times The post “Afghans traditions, cultural values, peace & unity messages should be considered in publications,” Minister Safi appeared first on The Kabul Times.

VP Danesh in Ankara to attend Erdogan’s oath taking ceremony

10 Jul 2018 The Kabul Times The Kabul Times

KABUL: The Second Vice President (VP) Mohammad Sarwar Danesh arrived in Ankara on Sunday night to participate in oath taking ceremony of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a statement from the VP office told The Kabul Times yesterday. VP Danesh was welcomed by a number of Turkish officials, including Police Chief and Mayor of Ankara City, a number of Turkish diplomats, ambassador and staffs of the Afghan Embassy in Ankara, the statement added. Meeting the Turkish officials, VP Danesh hinted to bilateral ties between the two countries, saying Afghanistan was the first country that recognized establishment of Republic of Turkey led by Mustafa Kamal Ataturk. “Turkey was the second country that recognized Afghanistan’s independence and since that, the political, security, educational, cultural and economic cooperation between the two countries further bolstered.” VP Danesh went on saying that Turkey was one of the great economic powers in the region, adding the country led by President Erdogan has now been ranked 18th economic power in the world. The Second Vice President congratulated Turkish nation over victory of President Erdogan and successful conducting of the presidential elections. The ceremony will be attended by twenty-two heads of states and twenty-eight Prime Ministers and parliament speakers from different countries. The second Vice President is accompanied by Minister of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled, Faizullah Zaki, Chief of Staff for office of the second Vice President and a number ofdiplomats from Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Kabul Times The post VP Danesh in Ankara to attend Erdogan’s oath taking ceremony appeared first on The Kabul Times.

Turkmenistan to continue cooperation with Afghanistan, ambassador

10 Jul 2018 The Kabul Times The Kabul Times

KABUL: Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah on Monday held a farewell meeting with Turkmenistan outgoing ambassador Mr. Togalakov, Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) reported. During the meeting, calling Turkmenistan a good neighbor and friend of Afghanistan, CE Abdullah appreciated that country’s continued cooperation recent years. Dr. Abdullah called Mr. Togalakov’s role precious and effective in bolstering relations between the two countries, according to the agency. Furthermore, Turkmenistan outgoing ambassador pointed out at his mission tenure in Afghanistan and called this country a good friend and neighbor of his country, BNA added. He stressed that his country would continue cooperation with Afghanistan in different fields. The Kabul Times The post Turkmenistan to continue cooperation with Afghanistan, ambassador appeared first on The Kabul Times.

HEC holds meeting

09 Jul 2018 The Kabul Times The Kabul Times

KABUL: President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has chaired the meeting of the High Economic Council (HEC) at The Presidential Palace, a statement said Sunday. The meeting members exchanged views about the agenda, including amendments in the exploratory contract and distribution of Sandoqli and Mazar-e-Sharif oil blocks (Afghan-Tajik) and discussed reports related to the Barikab industrial and agriculture parks and distribution of lands in the park, according to the statement. After providing details about the said issues by one of the officials of the ministry of mines and petroleum, the president approved the amendments considering the viewpoints of the meeting members. The president instructed the ministry of mines to provide a clear self-sufficeint plan about the oil exploration, as according to him, the oil was one of the main needs, particularly for the country’s defense and security forces, and needed to be secured from the country’s facilities. About the report provided by one of the officials of the ministry of commerce and industries, present at the meeting, Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah said the nature of the parks which is agricultural and industrial, should not change and facilitation should be provided for the demanding companies to encourage the Afghan investors inside country. The participants also proposed a consultative institution to remove problems of the experienced companies with good traditional products, but failing to fill the forms due to some reasons, the statement continued. After inclusive discussion by the participants, the president approved 16 companies proposals to own land plots in the industrial and agriculture townships in Barikab area, according to the statement. The president also tasked the Capital Zone Administration to establish a group that could cooperate with the companies so that the Afghan traders return from neighboring countries and invest in the country. According to the president, no problem has been seen in the security of the said park and the Afghanistan Breshna Shirkat has been instructed to secure standard electricity for the park. The president also instructed the land administration to provide a legal document for managing the future of the park, in which the duties and authorities of the governmental entities and the investing companies could be specified. The Kabul Times The post HEC holds meeting appeared first on The Kabul Times.