Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The US Chargé d’ Affairs Karen Decker has met with the Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul and briefed him about recent developments in the region and US policies on Iran, the CE office said in a statement on Thursday.
According to the statement, CE Abdullah told Karen Decker that as a victim of terrorism and prolonged wars, Afghanistan aspires for peace and stability, and any action that complicates the situation in the country will have a negative impact on the peace process.
During the meeting, Abdullah praised US President Donald Trump’s speech which emphasized the principle of de-escalation, lack of intentions of war and negotiations in its relations with Iran.
“CE stressed that solving the problems and issues peacefully would be in interest of the region, peace and the global security,” the statement reads.
In the meantime, US Chargé d’ Affairs has stated that the United States wants to reduce tensions in the region, but it will take actions if its interests are attacked.
In addition, the Chief Executive also met with British Ambassador Alison Blake and discussed the latest developments in the region and the Afghan elections.
Afghan Ministry of Defense (MoD) has rejected that Afghan national security forces were killed in a special operation in Shindand district of Helmand province.
MoD in a press release on Thursday that Afghan national security forces conducted a special operation in Shindand district of Helmand on Wednesday.
According to the press release, Afghan security forces had a successful operation and had no casualties.
However, the press release added that the Ministry will start investigation on reports about the civilian casualties during the operation.
At least six Taliban militants were killed and five others arrested in an operation against the militants in Afghanistan”s Kunduz province on Thursday, an army spokesman said.
The operation backed by military planes, in the east of the provincial capital Kunduz city on early Thursday morning killing six insurgents including a local commander, army spokesman Abdul Khalil Khalili said.
Five more militants including some notorious ones were captured during the raids, he said.
A Taliban bomb maker named Qari Naqibullah was killed by own bomb blast in Balkh province, the security officials said on Thursday.
The 209 Shahin Corps in a press release said that a bomb went off among the Taliban bomb makers in Tali Kak village of Dawlat Abad district at around 22:00pm (local time) on Wednesday.
According to the press release, another Taliban bomb maker named Qari Bashir was wounded in the incident.
The press release added the blast took place when two of the Taliban bomb makers have attempted to emplace their bombs in Qalay Barbar village of Dawlat Abad district.
The Afghan Ministry of Mines and Petroleum reported about extraction of 10 mines around the country.
In an interview with Radio Liberty, ministry’s spokesperson Abdul Qadir Mutfi said the mines selected for extraction mostly consist of construction materials (talc, marbles, chromite) and salt.
“We have signed 6 contracts and 14 other projects are soon going to be ready. We are working on the extraction of 10 more minerals to increase domestic revenue,” said Mutfi.
Mutfi added, 147 mines in 29 provinces consisting of construction materials alone provinces are selected for extraction.
President Ashraf Ghani spoke via phone with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday evening and discussed commitments on sustainable assistance to Afghanistan Defense and Security forces, supporting the Afghan peace process and addressing terrorist safe havens in the region.
The Presidential Palace in a press release said, the NATO Secretary General expressed disappointments that his visit to Kabul postponed since he had to deal with recent circumstances and incidents in the region and pledged to pay a visit to Kabul at a suitable occasion.
According to the press release, both sides underscored that ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region will be inconceivable unless the challenge of terrorists’ safe havens in the region is addressed.
“The two sides also agreed to discuss in details the strategic and multifaceted issues between Afghanistan and NATO during the upcoming visit of Secretary General Stoltenberg to Kabul,” the press release added.
The Consulate General of Afghanistan in Hyderabad was inaugurated on Wednesday.
Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Naheed Esar, on Wednesday, said that India and Afghanistan share their history, culture and more, as she pushed for greater trade relations between the two countries.
The Minister was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Afghanistan Consulate, where she said that trade and transit would define the future relations between the countries.
Ms. Esar said that the Consulate of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was a step in the economy-driven policy of the country. “This will serve Afghans and provide links between business communities,” she said.
This will be the Afghanistan’s second consulate in India with the first one being in Mumbai. Afghanistan has its embassy in New Delhi.
Afghan peace process would end if the United States gets into a conflict with Iran, Washington’s former special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan has said.
“If we get into a prolonged, low-intensity conflict with Iran — which I think is likely, unfortunately — then the U.S. may get to thinking that we are going to need to stay in Afghanistan and maintain a relatively robust military presence to threaten Iran from the rear,” Richard Olson said as quoted by New York Times.
“If we reach that decision,” he added, “then I think that pretty much means the end of the peace process in Afghanistan.”
NYT quoted Western diplomats as saying that the US strike against Iran and Iran’s retaliation in Iraq, will surely slow down the talks, as the Taliban try to grapple with what this means for their insurgency.