Newsfeed; Monday, February 24 2020

Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…

  • 24 Feb 2020 Share this post

    Afghan Peace Deal Receives ‘Tremendous Support’: US President Donald Trump

    The landmark Afghan peace deal has received “tremendous support”, President Donald Trump said on Monday in India, ahead of a possible agreement between the US and the Taliban in the war-torn country on February 29.

    The US is set to sign a peace deal with the Taliban on Saturday provided that a week-long reduction in violence across the strife-torn country holds, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a recent statement. The Taliban also released a statement confirming the plan to sign a peace deal that day.

    “It has received tremendous support,” Trump told reporters as he flew on Air Force One from Ahmedabad to Agra, according to CNN.

    Trump’s remarks came a day after he said Taliban in Afghanistan were “tired” of fighting and wanted to make a peace deal with America.

  • 24 Feb 2020 Share this post

    Security Forces Warn Protesters to Not Damage Govt & Public Buildings

    Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in a joint statement warned the protesters to not damage the government and public buildings.

    “Storming government’s buildings, damaging properties and preventing working affairs of government institutions are considered as national treason and crime,” the statement said.

    According to the statement, the protesters should stage their protests in the light of the law and refuse carrying weapons that disrupt the public security.

    “ANDSF call on all protesters to share the time and place of protests before launching any movements,” the statement reads.

    This comes as the supporters of the Stability and Partnership team have staged protests in a number of provinces after the announcement of the final presidential election results.

  • 24 Feb 2020 Share this post

    Germany Provides Healthcare Services For Returnees, IDPs & Host Communities in Kabul

    Basic medical care for returnees, internally displaced people and the local population of host communities is guaranteed by the rehabilitation and operation of two health centres in Walayati (Bagrami district) and Bazari (Kalakan district) in Kabul province. Mothers and children in particular benefit from the health services.

    To provide returnees, internally displaced people and the local population in the host communities of the province of Kabul with access to basic medical care, the German government is supporting the rehabilitation and operation of two existing health centres in Walayati and Bazari.

    ‘German Cooperation with Afghanistan’ in a report said, “The goal is to improve the health situation for around 30,000 people in the districts of Bagrami and Kalakan, around 2,700 of whom are returnees.”

    In the province of Kabul alone, around 170,000 people sought refuge in 2016 and 2017, due to the comparatively good security situation and better income opportunities.

  • 24 Feb 2020 Share this post

    RiV Enters 3rd Day; Taliban Abduct District Governor

    The so-called seven-day “Reduction in Violence” agreed in the U.S.-Taliban talks has entered its third day as local officials confirmed that the Taliban members have abducted a district governor.

    The spokesman of Samangan governor, Muhammad Sidiq Azizi told Reporterly, “The Taliban abducted Muhammad Ali Hassani, the district governor of Dare Soof today (Monday) at around 10:50am when he was on his way to home.”

    According to Azizi, the Taliban stopped Hassani’s vehicle in Chapchal area of Dare Soof district and abducted him along with his guard and criminal officer.

    The so-called seven-day reduction in violence, which started on Saturday, according to officials, could be a test for the Taliban leadership to prove its control over its fighters ahead of signing a peace deal with the United States to end the war in Afghanistan.

  • 24 Feb 2020 Share this post

    Ghani Meets Noor Amid Electoral Tensions

    President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has met with Ata Mohammad Noor, the Chief Executive of Jamiat-e Islami.

    In a statement posted online, Noor said the meeting focused on current situation of the country, announcement of election results, peace process, establishment of an inclusive government and reduction in violence.

    Noor declared that he does not support violence in the country, emphasizing that violence will negatively impact the ongoing efforts for peace in Afghanistan.

    He added that President Ghani cited during the meeting that he had no controversy with anyone and the government is inclusive.

    This comes as Noor was the first figure who congratulated Ashraf Ghani after he was declared as new President of Afghanistan.

  • 24 Feb 2020 Share this post

    Over 80,000 Votes Would Be Invalidated If Recount, Audit Conducted Well: IECC

    The deputy of the Independent Electoral Complaint Commission (IECC) says between 65,000 to 80,000 votes would be invalidated if the recount and audit process had been conducted well.

    IECC in a press release on Monday said that Mawlawi Din Muhammad Azimi, the deputy of IECC made the remarks in a meeting with the officials from the civil society institutions, the Abrar Disability Rehabilitation Institute and the National Democratic Institute (NDI).

    In the meantime, the head of IECC, Zohra Bayan Shinwari declared that the electoral commission had fulfilled its duties in accordance with the law and the electoral procedures.

    According to Azimi, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) has not addressed the decisions of IECC in accordance with the procedures of both commissions.

    Meanwhile, Chaman Shah Etemadi, the head of IECC Secretariat added that the IEC announced the final results of the Presidential elections without any coordination with IECC.

  • 24 Feb 2020 Share this post

    Parliament Speaker Expresses Readiness to Mediate Between Ghani & Abdullah

    The first speaker of the Lower House of Parliament, Mir Rahman Rahmani says he is ready to pave the way for a reasonable solution between Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah.

    Rahmani in a press release said that the current political tensions stemming from disputes over the electoral process and the announcement of the results by the Independent Election Commission have raised concerns.

    “Unfortunately, the announcement of the results did not provide the candidates’ satisfaction as we approach the peace talks and intra-Afghan talks which these tensions would remove us from national goals of achieving a united Afghanistan,” Rahmani said.

    Rahmani noted that the existing political tensions must be resolved through dialogue, and the political stability in the country should not be threatened.

    He called on the national parties, fronts and political figures to try to change the tense situation through political means.

    This comes as the tensions between Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah have increased after the announcement of the final results of the Presidential elections.

  • 24 Feb 2020 Share this post

    Afghanistan Identifies First Confirmed Coronavirus

    Afghanistan’s minister of public health said on Monday the country had identified its first case of coronavirus.

    Ferozuddin Feroz, the minister of public health, told a press conference in Kabul one of three suspected cases had been confirmed in the Western province of Herat.

    He announced a state of emergency in the province, which borders Iran where dozens of cases of the disease have been confirmed and eight people have died.

  • 24 Feb 2020 Share this post

    NATO Urges Afghan Parties to Priorities Peace & National Unity

    NATO Senior Civilian Rep to Afghanistan, Nicholas Kay has called on all Afghan parties to priorities the peace process and national unity.

    “Calm, dialogue and compromise by all political leaders needed,” Kay said.

    He emphasized that NATO does not support actions by any party that increase tensions or the risk of violence.

    This comes as the growing rancour between incumbent President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah over the Afghanistan presidential election results threatens the hopes for a better future that were kindled by the possibility of the US-Taliban rapprochement and a ceasefire.

    Abdullah has announced that he would be setting up a parallel government and a day later, in his capacity as chief executive, he barred electoral officials from travelling out of the country.

    His moves come ahead of possible intra-Afghan talks between the government and the Taliban armed group aimed at reaching long-term peace.

  • 24 Feb 2020 Share this post

    Afghanistan Ambassador Zahir Aghbar Presents Credentials to Tajik Foreign Minister

    The newly-appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Afghanistan to Tajikistan Mohammad Zahir Aghbar has presented his credentials to Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin, Tajik Foreign Ministry reports.

    The parties discussed state and prospects of further expansion of bilateral cooperation between Tajikistan and Afghanistan.

    Following the meeting, the parties also exchanged views on a number regional issues being of mutual interest.

    Mohammad Zahir Aghbar replaced Zalmai Younusi, who left his post of Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Tajikistan in May 2018.

    Prior to this, Mohammad Zahir Aghbar had served as Consul General of Afghanistan in Munich since August 2018.

  • 24 Feb 2020 Share this post

    Pak-Afghan Highway Remains Closed for Second Consecutive Day

    A set-in against the killing of a local youth, Adnan Shinwari, by the Pakistan’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) in an allegedly police encounter, continued for the second day and the Pak-Afghan highway remained closed for all kinds of traffic.

    Workers of various political parties and locals beside the relatives of the deceased put the corpse of the late Adnan Shinwari at the road in protest and refused to bury it till they get justice.

    Political leaders and social figures visited the protest set- in and expressed their solidarity with them.

    The participants also condemned the administration for stopping Member National Assembly (MNA) Ali Wazir at Karkhano checkpoint for joining the protest demo.

    The speakers pledged that until their demands were not fulfil, they would not give-up their protest.

  • 24 Feb 2020 Share this post

    Afghan President, Qatar’s Special Envoy Review Ties, Peace Talks

    President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani has met with the Special Envoy of the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Counterterrorism and Mediation in Conflict Resolution Dr Mutlaq bin Majed al-Qahtani, who is currently visiting Afghanistan.

    As per Gulf Times, during the meeting, they reviewed the bilateral cooperation; the peace talks between the United States and Taliban in Doha; the de-escalation agreement; the signing of an agreement to end the war in Afghanistan at the end of the month; the intra-Afghan negotiations and the exchange of prisoners between the two sides, in addition to issues of mutual concern.