Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Eighteen movies are set to compete for the top prize next week as the Berlin Film Festival celebrates its 70th anniversary.
One of the most highly anticipated films for the Golden Bear award for the competition – which runs February 20-March 1 — is German-Afghan director Burhan Qurbani’s Berlin Alexanderplatz, which transforms Alfred Doeblin’s 1929 German classic into modern times with a refugee from Africa as the main character.
Overall, the festival’s main competition has a heavy focus on arthouse-style movies that draw on sensitive themes, including immigration, family life, and opposition to political authorities.
The Afghanistan veterans have been honoured at the General Staff of Kyrgyzstan on occasion of the 31st anniversary of the withdrawal of Soviet combatant forces from Afghanistan, the General Staff reports.
Kyrgyzstan Chief of the General Staff Raimberdi Duishenbiyev during the event underlined a great military and life experience, knowledge and skills of the Kyrgyzstanis that participated in the Afghan war.
He said a moral potential and traditions are a source of a strong morale and high professional skills for the current generation of soldiers.
Duishenbiyev congratulated the Afghan veterans and handed over full collection works of the great Kyrgyz writer Chingiz Aitmatov.
The government of Pakistan would support every initiative, whether it’s bilateral or multilateral, that would be aimed at bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan, said Andleeb Abbas, Pakistan’s Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs.
She was speaking at a multilateral dialogue on the future of the Afghan peace process with attendees from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, the US, the UK, and Denmark organised by the Royal Danish Defense College (RDDC) and the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS).
The event was attended by many notables, including the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on the National Security Division, Dr Moeed Yusuf, and the Ambassador of Denmark to Pakistan Rolf Holmboe.
President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbai Jeenbekov today wrote a message on occasion of the Day of the withdrawal of the Soviet Army from Afghanistan.
In his letter, he reminded that more than 7,000 soldiers of Kyrgyzstan, including 233 dead and 1,500 injured, participated in the Afghanistan war 31 years ago.
The soldiers demonstrated their highest professional skills, courage and spiritual strength in difficult conditions, Jeenbekov noted.
The President wished the Afghan veterans good health, prosperity and success.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Zahorodniuk has said that Ukraine will continue to support efforts of coalition forces in Afghanistan.
He said this during a meeting of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) at the level of defense ministers of the contributing states of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, the press service of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported.
“Taking into account that strong and self-sufficient National Defense and Security Forces of the Republic of Afghanistan are an important element in achieving diplomatic success in Afghanistan, we will continue to contribute to our training and advisory efforts. Ukraine supports efforts of the coalition troops in the peaceful settlement of the conflict in Afghanistan through diplomatic means,” Zahorodniuk said.
An air strike in Nangarhar province has killed at least eight people- all believed to be civilians, local officials said.
A spokesman for the provincial governor of Nangarhar Attaullah Khogyani confirmed the incident.
Khogyani noted that the incident took place in Rood Kakrak area of Surkh Road district.
This comes as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said an important breakthrough had been made in peace talks with the Taliban in recent days, and US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said they had negotiated a proposal for a week-long reduction in violence.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday that the alliance was ready to consider adjusting the number of its troops in Afghanistan under the condition that the Taliban radical group is able to demonstrate both the willingness and capability to reduce violence and commit to peace.
“NATO currently has around 16,000 troops in Afghanistan and we are ready to adjust that force if the Taliban is able to demonstrate the will and the ability to reduce violence and we see a path to peace,” Stoltenberg told journalists on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.
The NATO secretary general also said he was scheduled to have a meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani later in the day to discuss ways of finding “a peaceful, negotiated solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has paid tribute to Ukrainians fallen during the Soviet-Afghan war.
On the eve of Memorial Day to commemorate the military personnel who died while serving in the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the territory of other states, the Ukrainian president participated in a commemorative event near the Memorial Complex to Ukrainian citizens fallen in Afghanistan, according to the president’s press service.
Together with soldiers of the honor guard, Zelensky laid flowers to the monument that is part of the Memorial.
Those present honored the memory of the fallen citizens of Ukraine with a moment of silence.