Newsfeed; Monday, March 23 2020

Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…

  • 23 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Indian PM Modi Thanks Afghanistan for Contributing to Covid-19 Emergency Fund

    India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday thanked Afghanistan for contributing to the Covid-19 emergency fund for SAARC countries, saying the challenge can be overcome by working together.

    He thanked Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani for his contribution to the emergency fund.

    “Thank you Afghanistan, for contributing $1 million to the Covid-19 Emergency Fund in solidarity with our South Asian neighbourhood. Tashakkur President Ashraf Ghani,” the Indian Prime Minister said.

    Addressing Saarc leaders and representatives on March 15, Modi had proposed an emergency fund with an initial offer of $10 million from India.

  • 23 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Karzai Welcomes Regional Countries’ Cooperation in Accelerating Afghan Peace Process

    The former president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai has welcomed the cooperation of regional countries in accelerating the Afghan peace process.

    Karzai in a press release said that the cooperation of regional countries is also in interests of the them.

    He also called on the United States to not misuse its presence in Afghanistan to compete against other countries and try to strengthen the stability of the country and the region.

  • 23 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Abdullah Meets Pompeo, Discussed Afghanistan Political Crisis

    Abdullah Abdullah met the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday, the Sapidar Palace said.

    The Sapidar Palace in a statement said that the two sides discussed about the importance of the peace process and solving the current political crisis in Afghanistan.

    This comes as Mr. Pompeo has earlier met President Ghani at the Presidential Palace.

    Pompeo arrived in Kabul on Monday on an unannounced visit to revive the stalled intra-Afghan peace process.

    The top U.S. diplomat was welcomed in the Afghan capital by Washington’s frontman for the peace parley, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad.

  • 23 Mar 2020 Share this post

    UN Cooperates with Afghanistan to Fight Against COVID-19

    The deputy of UN special representative for Afghanistan who visited Herat province has assured about cooperation with the Afghan government in fight against coronavirus.

    The Herat governor’s press office in a press release said that the deputy of UNAMA in Afghanistan has met with the governor Abdul Qaium Rahimi.

    According to the press release, the UN officials along with the chief of World Health Organization have traveled to Islam Qala, the border with neighboring Iran and assessed the situation closely.

    The press release added that the UN deputy has assured the Afghan officials about full cooperation of the UNAMA with the local authorities in Afghanistan.

  • 23 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Ghani Met Pompeo, Discussed Ongoing Political Issues

    President Ashraf Ghani met the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday and discussed the ongoing political issues in the country, the Presidential Palace said.

    “Both sides had conversations about the peace process, next steps in the process, regional consensus for Afghanistan peace, security situation and ongoing political issues,” Sediq Sediqqi, President’s spokesman said.

    This comes as Mr. Pompeo is expected to have a meeting with Abdullah Abdullah today.

    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Kabul on Monday on an unannounced visit to revive the stalled intra-Afghan peace process.

    The top U.S. diplomat was welcomed in the Afghan capital by Washington’s frontman for the peace parley, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad.

    Hours before Pompeo’s arrival, the U.S. special representative for Afghan reconciliation, along with Qatari officials, pulled together the maiden contact — though virtual through video conference — between the Afghan government in Kabul and Taliban insurgents in Doha.

  • 23 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Afghan Gov’t to Give Martyrs’ Compensation to Health Workers Die of Coronavirus

    The Afghan government will give martyrs’ compensation to the health workers who will die of coronavirus, Herat local officials quoted President Ghani as saying.

    Herat governor’s press office says President Ghani had a video conference with the Herat governor and Herat authorities on Sunday and instructed of giving compensations to health workers.

    President Ghani has also assured about high salaries for those health workers who are working in COVID-19 units.

  • 23 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Nine Insurgents Killed As Security Forces Thwart Taliban’s Attacks in Balkh

    Afghan security officials in Balkh province say at least nine insurgents have been killed as the Afghan forces thwarted Taliban’s attacks.

    The 209 Shahin Corps in a press release said that the Taliban insurgents launched complex attacks on security forces’ outposts in Barmazid village of the Balkh district.

    According to the press release, at least four other insurgents were wounded in the incident.

    The Corps added that clashes continued for at least two hours anf the Afghan security forces had no casualties in the clashes.

  • 23 Mar 2020 Share this post

    NATO Chief Hails Qatari Amir on Afghan Peace Deal

    The Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani has received a written message from the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato), Jens Stoltenberg.

    In the message, which was delivered through diplomatic channels, the Nato secretary general congratulated the Amir on Qatar’s efforts to reach an agreement to bring peace to Afghanistan.

    He affirmed that during the past 15 years, Qatar has been an important and reliable partner of Nato, extending thanks to the Amir for his great personal support to strengthening the relations between the State of Qatar and NATO.

    He said he is looking forward to progress in the joint dialogue and strengthening the partnership between Qatar and Nato, stressing that Nato and its partners in the Gulf region are facing the same security challenges that require more co-operation.

  • 23 Mar 2020 Share this post

    AIHRC Calls on All Parties to Respect Citizens’ Rights, Particularly Children

    Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) has called on all parties involved in Afghanistan conflict to pay respect to Afghan citizens’ rights, particularly the children.

    AIHRC in a series of tweets said that the commission’s findings indicate that the Police of Mata Khan District of Paktia province have arrested a child in accusation of cooperating with the Taliban, but shortly after the child’s Corpse was found in the central hospital of the province.

    This comes as (AIHRC) on Sunday commenced work on a garden in Kabul city to honor child victims of war in Afghanistan.

    The AIHRC planted approximately 120 trees in the garden, which is located at the front of the commission. Each tree represents a child victim.

    Shahrzad Akbar, the head of the AIHRC has urged the warring sides to respect human rights and values for lasting peace in Afghanisan.

  • 23 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Two Killed, Wounded in Paktia Motorbike Bomb Blast

    At least one security guard of a University was killed and another guard was wounded in a motorbike bombing in Paktika on Monday.

    According to Paktia Police, the explosion happened about 11am in Gardiz City of Paktia province.

    Officials said explosives had been packed in a motorbike.

    No group has yet claimed responsibility for the incident.

  • 23 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Ministry of Health Calls on Afghan People to Stop Movements, Gatherings

    The Public Health Ministry spokesman Wahidullah Mayar at a press conference in Kabul on Monday said that the number of the positive cases of COVID-19 will increase in the country in the upcoming days.

    Mayar again urged people in Herat to avoid movement in the city, saying: “We want the same lockdown in Herat as in other cities in the world and it is very important.”

    “If the people do not listen to the Ministry of Public Health and avoid gatherings and other activities in Herat, than we will face a disaster,” he said, adding: “The number of positive cases will increase in the country in upcoming days.”

    “Coronavirus is not a joke and it must me be taken seriously,” said Mayar, who said “most of the country is not able to control the virus.”

    This comes as the Ministry of Public Health on Sunday evening confirmed that a 40-year-old man in Balkh died of coronavirus three days ago.

  • 23 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Afghan Gov’t Frees Prisoners to Slow Corona Spread

    The Afghan government announced that it has considered releasing a number of inmates in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

    The Presidential Palace in a statement has said that in the next 24 hours a plan will be drafted for the release of “prisoners and detainees”.

    The head of prisoners affairs, Ahmad Rashid Totakhil, said in the statement that the decision was made in a meeting with President Ashraf Ghani.

    He said those who have committed security-related crimes will not be released.

  • 23 Mar 2020 Share this post

    US Secretary of State Arrives in Kabul

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Kabul on Monday on an unannounced trip to Afghanistan for a diplomatic rescue mission.

    Mr. Pompeo is expected to meet with President Ashraf Ghani and his chief political rival, Abdullah Abdullah, who is attempting to set up a parallel government in Kabul.

  • 23 Mar 2020 Share this post

    HRW Calls on Australian Gov’t to Ensure Inquiry into War Allegations in Afghanistan

    The Human Rights Commission (HRC) has called on Australian government to ensure an independent inquiry into allegations to war crimes in Afghanistan.

    Australia’s Defense Department should reexamine previously dismissed cases of alleged summary executions and other war crimes in Afghanistan in light of new evidence, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to Australian Defense Minister Linda Reynolds.

    On March 19, the Australian Defense Department announced that it had identified and suspended from duty “Soldier C.,” an SAS member implicated in one of the incidents shown on the Four Corners program, and that the matter had been referred to the Australian Federal Police.

  • 23 Mar 2020 Share this post

    MoFA Reacts to Iranian Ministry’s Statement

    Afghanistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has reacted to a statement released by the Iranian Foreign Ministry about the country’s affairs.

    “Afghanistan has developing relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Both countries have many historical, religious and cultural commonalities. However, the Islamic Republic of Iran was not expected to have such a superficial view of Afghanistan’s affairs and issues,” MoFA said in a statement.

    This comes as the Foreign Ministry of Iran on Sunday night released a press release, saying US hasty measures to reach an agreement with the Taliban in Afghanistan and inattention to the country’s domestic issues are the main reasons behind the current political crisis in the country following the recent presidential election.

    “With the differences between Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah [still unresolved], unfortunately, we are still witnessing continuation of unilateral policies of the US administration and the victimization of the Afghan people’s national interests in order to serve propaganda purposes of that country’s [US] president,” the statement reads.

  • 23 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Qatar, US Facilitate Talks on Taliban Prisoners’ Release

    Qatar’s Foreign Ministry says its country and the US have facilitated the first direct technical talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban movement on the release of prisoners.

    The talks, which took place through a digital link, on account of the coronavirus (Covid-19) scenario, were fruitful and constructive, according to a Qatari MoFA statement.

    The statement added that all parties confirmed their commitment to reduce escalation, and the intra-Afghan negotiations and comprehensive peace, and agreed to resume the talks within the next few days.

    Qatar and the US called on the parties to expedite the completion of prisoner swap.

    The talks constitute an essential step in the peace process in accordance with the Afghan peace agreement signed between the US and the Taliban in Doha on February 29, 2020.

  • 23 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Iran Expresses Readiness to Play Role in Solving Afghanistan Issue

    Iranian Foreign Ministry in a statement expressed Tehran’s readiness to play more active role in regional efforts aiming to solve problems in Afghanistan.

    In its statement which was released over current developments in Afghanistan, Iranian Foreign Ministry offered readiness for maintaining peace and stability in Afghanistan and in the region.

    Iran is closely and with concern monitoring political and security developments in Afghanistan, the statement reads warning against the unpredictable consequences of the disputes with regard to impacts of the presidential elections’ results on internal stability and on the region as well.

    Iran considers the current situation as result of US Administration’s lack of attention to problems in holding elections in Afghanistan and its negligence to learn from 2014 election.