Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Saudi Arabia has pledged to build 100 religious schools in Afghanistan and has approved financing of 35 development plans.
Riyadh will also build a hospital in Afghan capital Kabul, worth $30 million, Saudi ambassador while meeting with Afghan Senate speaker.
Ambassador JassimbinMohammed Al-Khalidi also said that Saudi Arabia will provide an assistance of 200 million riyals ($53 million US dollars) to Afghanistan for the fight against coronavirus, according to a statement released by the Senate.
The envoy said that Saudi Arabia will raise Afghanistan’s Haj quota in future.
India and Afghanistan on Sunday signed five agreements for developing educational infrastructure in four Afghan provinces, with the move seen as a reiteration of New Delhi’s support to Kabul at a time when the war-torn country’s peace process is facing challenges.
The five memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were signed under the high impact community development projects (HICDP) programme being implemented by India to further strengthen the bilateral development partnership, said a statement from the Indian embassy in Kabul.
Since 2001, India has undertaken projects worth $3 billion in Afghanistan, including $1 billion pledged in 2016 under the “new development partnership” scheme over the period of five years. These projects are part of India’s commitment to assist Afghanistan emerge as a “peaceful, united, prosperous and pluralistic nation”, the statement said.
The projects to be taken up under the five MoUs include the construction of classrooms, a higher education building and a road within the campus of Albironi University. The projects are spread across the four provinces of Nooristan, Badakhshan, Farah and Kapisa.
The British Embassy in Kabul on Sunday called for reduction in violence to create the conditions for intra-Afghan negotiations.
The embassy said that it was deeply concerned about “high levels” of violence in Afghanistan.
“As we move towards crucial negotiations, we urge the Taliban to listen to the clear demand of the Afghan people, demonstrate they are serious about peace, and reduce the violence,” the embassy said in a statement. “Continuing attacks create a climate which encourages further insecurity, instead of building confidence that peace is possible.”
It called on parties to the conflict to heed the UN Security Council’s calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities, in order to reduce violence and to ensure access of humanitarian aid throughout the country is not unduly hindered..
The embassy expressed concern about the deliberate targeting of civil society members, religious figures and healthcare workers. “This is completely unacceptable. We call for a robust investigation into all incidents of violence where civilians have died or been injured, and for those responsible to be held to account.”
The embassy said that they share the Afghan government’s commitment to protect and build on the rights and freedoms gained by the people of Afghanistan over the past 19 years. “Afghans across the country have articulated their strong desire to defend these hard-won freedoms. The Taliban must heed these voices, and must be ready to compromise, if a sustainable peace is to emerge.”
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) reported a jump of 279 new Coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, which have now taken Afghanistan’s tally to 32,951 confirmed cases.
There were 38 patients who died of the virus during the past day. Those figures now stand at 19,366 recovered cases and 864 fatalities to date.
A shipment of transit goods has, for the first time, been transported to India via a port in southern Iran.
The consignment was sent to India through Shahid Beheshti port in Chabahar in line with a trilateral agreement signed by Iran India and Afghanistan.
During the transit operations, as many as 30 refrigerated containers and nine ordinary ones all of which contained transit commodities coming from Afghanistan and destined for the Indian ports of Mundra and Nhava Sheva were loaded onto a vessel and shipped out to India, said a ports and maritime official.
“This is the first time that a container ship only carries container goods when leaving Shahid Beheshti port in Chabahar in keeping with the implementation of a trilateral deal between India, Afghanistan and Iran,” the official added.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has held a telephonic conversation with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on ways to step up bilateral ties and also exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry in a statement said the two leaders expressed hope that the next meeting of China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Foreign Ministers Dialogue will take place at the earliest to facilitate peace and reconciliation efforts in war-torn Afghanistan.
Both sides also reaffirmed the resolve to take measures aimed at the earliest possible economic recovery in the aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic.
The Special Representative of Uzbekistan for Afghanistan Ismatulla Irgashev met with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan Yoshinori Fujiyama, Uzbekistan MFA reports.
During the conversation, the sides discussed the efforts of the two countries to expand cooperation in the Afghan direction, in particular, to launch a peace negotiation process in this country.
The Japanese side expressed its readiness to continue actively contributing to establishment of long-term and sustainable peace in Afghanistan and restoration of its socio-economic infrastructure in the interests of the entire Afghan people.
In particular, the Japanese Ambassador expressed interest in projects on building railways and new power lines in Afghanistan.
The Afghan Foreign Ministry has announced that the country is scheduled to hold three important meetings on Intra-Afghan talks which will be attended by regional countries including Iran.
The Foreign Ministry of Afghanistan has announced that Afghanistan is scheduled to host three important regional,trans-regional and tripartite meetings on the peace and Inter-Afghani talks.
Gran Hewad, the spokesman for Afghanistan Foreign Ministry, said that the first meeting is going to be held on next Monday via video conference between regional countries and strategic partners of Afghanistan, adding that Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarit will be attending the meeting as well.
According to the Afghanistan Ministry, the tripartite meeting between Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China will also be held with the main focus being on strengthening regional and trans-regional consensus on Afghanistan peace and Inter-Afghan talks.
The US Defense Department says a soldier has died after a vehicle accident that occurred in Afghanistan.
The DOD said Saturday the soldier was supporting Operation Freedom Sentinel, part of the NATO-led mission fighting militants in that country.
Spc. Vincent Sebastian Ibarria, 21, from San Antonio, died as the result of a vehicle rollover accident on Friday in Farah, Afghanistan. The incident is under investigation.
Ibarria was the ninth U.S. service member to die this year in Afghanistan — two were killed in an apparent insider attack, two were killed when their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device, two died in a plane crash and two died in non-combat incidents.