NSA Leaves For Kazakhstan To Meet Senior Security, Political Officials

Kabul: Afghanistan National Security Advisor, Hamdullah Mohib, left for Kazakhstan, the NSA office confirmed in a statement on Thursday morning.

A statement published by the Afghan National Security Advisor office has stated that the Afghan NSA, Hamdullah Mohib, has left Kabul for Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan. Mohib is leading a high-level Afghan delegation who will meet with the senior security and political officials of Kazakhstan to discuss mutual interest issues between both countries.

This comes even as Afghan officials had also previously travelled to the regional countries in order to work for a regional consensus on the Afghan peace process for ending the prolonged Afghan war.

Meanwhile, 48 hours after meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Brussels, US President Joe Biden on Wednesday met with another leader of a country Washington has thorny ties to: Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A factor driving Biden to push for normalized ties, even cooperation, with Ankara and Moscow is the increasingly fraught situation in Afghanistan. Biden’s decision to withdraw all US forces from Afghanistan has spurred internal instability in the country, where violence is escalating as the Taliban score more battlefield victories against the Afghan government and foreign forces disengage. But Washington’s decision to pull out has also triggered a regional power play, with different actors — from China to Turkey, from Russia to India — looking to take advantage of the diplomatic power vacuum in Kabul.

Afghanistan’s political, economic and military dynamics have long been influenced by larger and more powerful neighbors Pakistan and Iran. But one regional player, Turkey, is positioning itself in a key security role after the Americans withdraw. While other NATO members will have fully pulled out their forces by September 11, Ankara has announced that its forces will stay.

Turkey is not an immediate neighbor. It does not share a border with landlocked Afghanistan but lies further west, past Iran. But analysts see Turkey spotting a dual opportunity in Afghanistan. First, Ankara seeks to leverage some goodwill in its soured relationship with the US by offering to protect Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International airport, a crucial link to the world. The move, which came in the lead-up to Erdogan’s Monday meeting with Biden in Brussels, also fits into Ankara’s playbook of increasing its role on the international stage while positioning itself for a more influential role in Afghanistan.

In other news, German troops have been burning bulks of sensitive documents as they prepare to leave their Afghan base near the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. “The Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan is destroying ammunition boxes that are no longer needed and documents containing sensitive Bundeswehr data at Camp Marmal,” the armed forces tweeted.

A senior officer said in a video, published by Bundeswehr on Wednesday, that shredded documents were burned in furnaces, while metal scrap was crushed in a large press to make it unusable. German media reported in early June that the troops were ordered to take leftover alcohol back with them when they head home. This includes 65,000 cans of beer and 340 bottles of wine.

Germany handed over the base to the Afghan government forces during a solemn ceremony last week. Camp Marmal is Germany’s largest foreign outpost.

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Latest from Newsfeed; Thursday, June 17 2021