Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
President Ashraf Ghani met Abbas Araghchi, Iran’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Based on presidential palace statement, Iran’s Deputy FM Abbas Araghchi has briefed president Ghani on Taliban’s recent visit to Iran.
The two sides also discussed government-to-government relations, Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process and ways to better use Chabahar Port, according to the statement.
Abbas Araghchi, Iran’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, is in Kabul for talks with Afghan officials, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Saturday.
The statement added that Araghchi has met Edris Zaman, Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs, and he will meet with Afghan leaders as well.
The Herat provincial government media office said in a statement that the construction work of a petroleum refinery is underway and will be inaugurated in the near future.
The refinery is one of the major and well equipped refineries in this province and is being built by private sector with a total investment of up to 15 million US Dollars, according to statement.
The statement added that the refinery would respond to the majority of petroleum requirements of Herat province once the construction work is completed.
Hopefully the petroleum imports would drop considerably with the formal inauguration of the refinery, said Deputy acting provincial governor Mohiuddin Noori.
Most advanced equipment and machinery have been imported from well known factories, according to the officials of the refinery.
The refinery is currently producing 450 tons of fuel on daily basis, they added.
Up to 80 workers have been employed in the refinery currently which would increase to 300 people in the near future, the officials further added.
Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) on Friday announced that Afghanistan has exported 1,000 tons of pine nuts to China as the launch of the air corridor between the two countries last year in November.
The pine nuts have been sent to China in 50 flights, according to MAIL officials.
The price of one kilogram of pine nuts in world markets is up to $40, according to Akbar Rustami, spokesman for MAIL.
“The ministry of agriculture has put on tender construction of two processing centers,” Rustami said.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Industry and Commerce said efforts are underway to open more air corridors.
“There is a high demand for the Afghan pine nuts in the world markets,” said Ajmal Hamid Abdul Rahimzai, the financial and administrative deputy minister of industry and commerce.
Based on statistics, Afghanistan’s pine nuts products have reached 23,000 tons last year.
The spokesman to Kandahar governor, Azizullah Azizi, confirmed to Reporterly on Saturday that seven border forces’ members were killed and four other were wounded in a clash with Taliban in Spin Boldak district.
Last night, Taliban attacked a security outpost of the border forces in Nawa village in Spin Boldak district, which is located along the Durand Line, he added.
Meanwhile, he said that 16 Taliban fighters were killed and 11 others were wounded in the clash.
The Ministry of Public Health confirmed on Friday that three people were dead and 44 others were injured as result of a fire that began at a gas station in Abulhaq Circle in Kabul’s PD9 and soon spread to nearby buildings.
Six of those wounded are in critical condition, said Wahidullah Mayar, spokesman for Ministry of Public Health.
Women and children are also among those wounded in the incident, according to him.
National Security Advisor to president Ghani, Hamdullah Mohib, met on friday with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval in New Delhi to discuss two sides’ cooperation in different areas.
“Held productive meetings in India with my counterpart NSA Ajit Doval and other security officials on regional stability, the democratic progress and ongoing peace efforts in Afghanistan, and bilateral security cooperation.” Mohib said on his twitter account.
Meanwhile, the Indian National Security Advisor reiterated that India will continue cooperation with Afghanistan, especially in areas including joint counterterrorism efforts, regional and economic cooperation as well as big infrastructural projects, the statement said.
Afghanistan’s NSA invited his Indian counterpart to visit Kabul to expand cooperation.
Pakistan and Turkey would hold a trilateral summit with Afghanistan in Istanbul to support bring lasting peace and stability to the war-torn Afghanistan, Pakistani media sources reported.
This was announced by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan during a joint press conference in Turkey, The News reported.
“The people of Afghanistan have been suffering for over three decades. Pakistan is already helping dialogue between the Taliban and Americans. I look forward to the summit meeting in Istanbul, where we hope that Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey will be able to help in this peace process,” Khan said at a press conference following his meeting with Turkish President.
In a joint statement released after the conference, and quoted by The News, Turkey and Pakistan acknowledged that sustainable peace and stability in Afghanistan could be achieved through reconciliation among all segments of the Afghan society with the support of the regional countries and the international community.
The trilateral summit will be called as soon as Turkish local elections are concluded in March, the report said.