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Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Chicago city (BNA) President Hamid Karzai met with his Pakistani counterpart Asef Ali Zardari in Chicago city the other day. 
Peace process in Afghanistan and role of Pakistan in this process topped the agenda of their meeting. 
To speed up peace process, the Pakistan side asked the head of High Peace Council Salahuddin Rabbani to visit this country in near future based on previous invitation. 
President Karzai one more laying emphasize on sincerely fight against terrorism and extremism in the region, said that for survival of both nations, it is necessary that fight against terrorism and extremism be taken place sincerely. 
Likewise, during this meeting Afghanistan and Pakistan exchanged views on expansion of bilateral ties, economic and commercial cooperation between the two nations.  
During this meeting, the Afghan side demanded from Pakistan to permit entrance of some consignments of textbooks of Afghan schools stopped in Pakistan. 
Similarly it is agreed the Pak, foreign minister to visit Afghanistan in near future.

Statement By His Excellency Hamid Karzai President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan NATO Summit Meeting on Afghanistan
Chicago, United States of America
21 May 2012
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
President Obama,
Secretary General Rasmussen,
Excellencies Heads of State and Government,
Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you very much, President Obama, for the warm welcome and hospitality in the magnificent city of Chicago. It is a pleasure to be addressing this important summit of the NATO Alliance, the ISAF contributing countries and other partners from around the world.
The road that has led to this important juncture in the partnership between Afghanistan and the international community started right here in the United States over a decade ago when, in the aftermath of the 9/11, the world coalesced around the objective of eliminating international terrorism. Much has been achieved in this struggle, including in the fight against Al-Qaeda, as well as in helping Afghanistan rebuild from the rubble of war and turmoil. The Afghan people are grateful to all the nations represented here today, who have supported Afghanistan over the past decade so that we could send our children to school, improve the health and living standards of our citizens, and lay the foundations of a vibrant democracy and a prospering economy. Your support has helped Afghanistan assume its rightful place in the community of nations. Our achievements would not have been possible without the sacrifices given by the Afghan people as well as the many young men and women of the various countries who have come to help us.
However, as we celebrate our shared achievements of the past decade, we must not overlook the immense sacrifice and suffering of the Afghan people and we must address the shortcomings of the approach in fighting terrorism. The war on terror has narrowly focused on Afghanistan where Afghan villages and towns have suffered terribly from an unending stream of violence, whereas terrorist safe havens, training camps and support networks, have remained untouched beyond Afghanistan’s frontiers.
More than a decade into this fight, terrorism remains a serious threat, and extremism and radicalism are on the rise. Spreading across societies in the region, these menaces, as we all know, have dire consequences not just for the stability of Afghanistan and Pakistan but also for the security of the region and the world as a whole.
Ladies and gentlemen,
While lessons of the past must be learned, it is the future of this critical partnership between Afghanistan and the international community that must be the focus of this important Summit today. In looking to the future, I consider the ongoing Transition process in Afghanistan to be the most important strategic priority in our joint efforts. Long before the launch of the Transition framework two years ago in Lisbon, I had voiced the strong desire of the Afghan people to regain control of their destiny and to be responsible for defending our own homeland.
Less than one year since the process of Transition was launched last July, the Afghan National Security Forces have assumed lead security and protection responsibility for half the Afghan population. Over the next six months, the ANSF area of responsibility will reach 75 percent of population across all of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.
The recently signed Memoranda of Understanding between Afghanistan and the United States, bringing night raids and detention centers under Afghan authority, is a significant development in the Transition process, as well as a sign of respect for our sovereignty.
We see the fulfilling of the Transition benchmarks, including the complete transfer of responsibility by mid-2013 and the withdrawal of International Security Assistance Force by end-2014, not only as a step forward in our security strategy, but also as a necessity if our country is going to achieve lasting peace and self-reliance. We see an irreversible Transition as a duty we owe to the men and women in uniform from your countries, to whom we are grateful, who need to be relieved of a responsibility that we Afghans ought to shoulder ourselves.
An irreversible Transition in Afghanistan will also depend on continued support and cooperation from our NATO allies and other partner countries. Such support, particularly in training, equipping and capacity development of the ANSF, would be crucial to Afghanistan’s ability to defend itself against any external and internal threats. In this context, we welcome the shift in NATO’s role from combat to a new training, advising and assistance mission . We look to the ISAF coalition partners and the wider international community to provide the Afghan Security Forces with the required enablers including advanced Counter-IED, enhanced logistics, intelligence, air assets, as well as the capability to secure Afghanistan’s airspace.
I commend the leadership and vision that NATO and its member states, particularly the United States, have shown in putting together a long-term support plan for the ANSF. I believe the estimated annual cost of 4.1 billion dollars for the ANSF in the post-Transition period is a sustainable figure. In this context, I reiterate the Afghan Government’s commitment to contribute 500 million dollars towards this objective, as well as our commitment to increase this contribution over time as our economy becomes stronger. As for the remaining 3.6 billion, I hope this conference will produce firm international commitment for contributions in the period after 2014. I also emphasize the importance of creating new mechanisms for spending these resources in a way that is efficient, cost-effective and flexible so that Afghan institutions gain maximum benefit from international support.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We are grateful to Germany for hosting last year’s Bonn Conference on Afghanistan. At that conference, my government and the international community committed to a vision of long-term partnership encapsulated in the Transformational Decade 2014-2024. The Transformation Decade is critical to securing our future and moving Afghanistan towards greater self-reliance. In this context, we see an enduring partnership with NATO and our other allies as key to our long-term national security interests and important to our ability to contribute towards regional stability and international peace. Earlier this year, we signed long-term partnership documents with India, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom. More recently, we have signed partnership agreements with Germany and Australia. We have also concluded a landmark strategic partnership agreement with the United States of America, which will serve to shape the long-term relationship between our two countries for at least another decade to come.
These partnerships mark a new chapter in Afghanistan’s relationship with its allies. They signify a relationship between equal partners based on the mutuality of interests. We have entered these partnerships with a view to realizing the long-standing aspirations of the Afghan people for peace and stability. The credibility of these partnerships will depend on success in achieving peace and stability for Afghanistan. Consistent with our national interest, our partnerships with the United States and other countries are not aimed at a third country and will not pose a threat to the region. It is our genuine belief that these partnerships will be in the interest of stability and greater prosperity in the region.
Furthermore, our vision for a stable and prosperous Afghanistan is fundamentally anchored in a region that is stable, economically integrated and conducive to shared prosperity. In this context, the Istanbul Process presents a unique opportunity for Afghanistan and its near and extended neighbors to engage in a sincere dialogue to build confidence and promote cooperation at the regional level. As part of the Istanbul Process, Afghanistan is committed to playing its role in bringing the region together in greater dialogue and partnership, and we hope the Process will continue to enjoy the confidence and support of our regional and international partners. In this context, we look forward to the Kabul Ministerial Conference in June as the follow up step to the Istanbul Process as well as to its further evolution thereafter.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Another vital element of achieving lasting stability in Afghanistan is the success of the peace and reconciliation process, which we have pursued with particular vigor and commitment for many years. Building on the strong consensus that exists within Afghanistan for a peaceful end to the conflict, we have extended a hand of reconciliation to the Taliban and other militant groups. Subject to the principles we have laid out for a peaceful outcome, including renunciation of violence, cutting ties with terrorism, safeguarding the achievements of the past ten years and upholding the constitution, we will work to make the peace process inclusive and a genuine alternative for all those who wish to return to dignified lives in our society.
Pakistan’s constructive engagement and cooperation will be instrumental for bringing the Taliban leadership to the negotiating table. We believe that Afghanistan and Pakistan have strong mutual security interests to work together in order to defeat the terrorists intent on killing our people, undermining the sovereignty of our countries, and destabilizing our region. Over the past few years, we have closely engaged Pakistan to assist us with the peace process, and I am hopeful that the weeks and months ahead will witness more tangible measures in this regard. However, while Pakistan and other countries from the region and beyond have a role to play in supporting the peace process and ensuring its success, it is for the Afghans to fully own and fully lead this process.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Transformation Decade is based on the assumption that, to achieve self-reliance, Afghanistan will enjoy significant development contributions from the international community for at least another decade after 2014. In this context, I thank the Government of Japan for convening an international donors’ meeting on Afghanistan in July of this year in Tokyo. Building on the solid commitment to a secure and prosperous Afghanistan expressed at last year’s Bonn Conference, we will submit to the Tokyo Conference a strategic economic plan for more self-reliance in the decade beyond 2014. Our economic plan will aim to gradually reduce our dependence on international aid, utilize Afghanistan’s own economic potentials, and achieve sustainable and equitable development for all our people.
We will also move forcefully on implementing a comprehensive agenda for further reform and improving governance, including the development of strong and effective institutions of state. Weak institutions, the existence of parallel structures such as the PRTs and reliance on aid contractors have created a gap between the people and government institutions. We will phase out all parallel structures, improve public service delivery and fight the menace of corruption, whether it is within the Afghan Government or outside. In particular, in the remaining part of my term in office, I will continue to focus strongly on building a system of public administration that is apolitical, professional, clean and founded on the principle of job security for civil servants.
The upcoming elections in 2014 is an important milestone in Afghanistan’s political maturation, and will have significant impact on the long-term stability and consolidation of democracy in Afghanistan. Therefore, our elections must be marked by integrity and free from internal or external intervention. We are determined to take all necessary measures to ensure a smooth political transition, in full accord with the Afghan Constitution, and taking into consideration the aspirations of all segments of Afghan society for a pluralistic and democratic polity.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are grateful to all the countries, gathered here today, for reaffirming their commitment to the financial sustainment of our security forces beyond 2014. Afghanistan’s security is fundamentally tied to the security of the region with implications for global security. A stronger Afghanistan, with capable and effective security forces, will be the lynchpin of stability and security in the region, and a reliable partner of the international community. Therefore, your contribution to the future development of the ANSF, for which we are very grateful, is a judicious investment in the defense of regional and international security.
Thank you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Kabul (BNA)On the sideline of the NATO summit, President Hamid Karzai met Monday in Chicago with Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed political reconciliation, Pakistan’s role in the peace process, socio-economic development, human rights, status of Afghan women and girls, specially their access to higher education and training.
Ban Ki-moon said, the United Nations would remain as a committed partner with Afghanistan and described regional cooperation and peace talks as important.
The Secretary-General reiterated that the United Nations is ready to provide technical support to the Afghan authorities to hold credible and democratic elections.
Thanking for the UN support and cooperation, President Karzai deemed the years ahead to be of particular importance for Afghanistan because it would undertake more responsibilities beyond 2014.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Kabul (BNA) In the sideline of the NATO Summit, President Hamid Karzai met with Turkish President, Abdullah Gul in the city of Chicago on Saturday.
Issues discussed between the two leaders included further expansion of the bilateral relations, the peace process and Turkey’s role as well as the outlook of a future cooperation between Afghanistan and Turkey.
The two leaders agreed to take up the existing bilateral relations to a strategic level.
President of Turkey said, “Afghanistan is our friend and a brother whom we wish to support at all times.” President Gul added he hoped the trilateral meeting between Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey can continue for the good of all.
President Gul said his country stands ready to help in the reconstruction of Afghanistan, training of the Afghan security forces and to support the Afghanistan Peace process.
President Karzai described Turkey a historic friend of the people of Afghanistan, who he said always look to Turkish people as brothers and who seek with Turkey an enhanced strategic relationship. President Karzai said I hope that with such a strategic cooperation agreement with Turkey, the relations between the two countries can have an established framework to cooperate.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012 04:45

Afghan, US Presidents Meet In Chicago

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Kabul (BNA) On the sideline of the NATO Summit, President Hamid Karzai and President Barack Obama met on Sunday in Chicago.
During the meeting, the two sides exchanged views on the Afghan-US strategic relationship, the NATO Summit, Afghanistan beyond 2014, security transition and the Afghan peace process.
Welcoming President Karzai and his accompanying delegation to Chicago, US President said in a joint press conference, “During my visit to to Kabul recently. During that trip to Afghanistan, we were able to finalize the Strategic Partnership Agreement that reflects a future in which two sovereign nations -- the United States and Afghanistan -- are operating as partners, to the benefit of our countries’ citizens, but also for the benefit of peace and security and stability in the region and around the world.”
President Obama added, “And so the Strategic Partnership Agreement, this NATO Summit, are all part and parcel of a shared vision that we have in which Afghanistan is able to transition from decades of war to a transformational decade of peace and stability and development.”
Underscoring the friendship between the two countries, US President noted, the people of Afghanistan desperately want peace and security and development and so long as they’re reflecting that resilience and that hope for a better future, they will have a friend in the United States of America.
Addressing President Obama, President Karzai said, “Afghanistan reaffirmed its commitment to the transition process and to the completion of it in 2013, and the completion of withdrawal of our partners in 2014, so that Afghanistan is no longer a burden on the shoulder of our friends in the international community, on the shoulders of the United States and our other allies.”
The President added, “Afghanistan, indeed, Mr. President, as you very rightly put it, is looking forward to an end to this war, and a transformational decade in which Afghanistan will be working further for institution building and the development of sounder governance in the country and a better economy, where the Afghans will be taking steady steps towards self-reliance in all aspects of life, that Afghanistan will be collecting its own revenues. But in the meantime, that the world community, in particular the United States and our allies in NATO and ISAF, will be with us to make sure that we take steady and strong steps and are back while you are making those steps towards 2024, when Afghanistan will be largely defending itself and providing for itself.”
Pointing to the strategic partnership, President Karzai said, the partnership that was signed a few weeks ago in Kabul has turned a new page in Afghan-US relations and the new page is a page of two sovereign countries working together for the mutual interests -- peace and security and in all other areas of concentration.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Kabul (BNA) President Hamid Karzai and Prime Minister Julia Gillard have signed Monday a long-term partnership agreement between Australia and Afghanistan.
Following the signing of the agreement, the two leaders attended a joint press conference where President Karzai said, "It is a very happy day for Afghanistan to consider ourselves partners with Australia, a people that has been so generous and kind to us, a country that contributed to our stability and progress, that has spared no effort with risking the life of its men and women in uniform, with bringing to Afghanistan the taxpayers’ money of Australia to help our country… and we will remember this.”
Prime Minister Gillard said, “ It is a great pleasure to able to execute this agreement today, I have constantly said to the Australian people that we will not abandon Afghanistan and that we will continue to be working with you and the this document today is a way of saying, this is how we will continue working together.”
Ms. Gillard added, “We want to say to the people of Afghanistan an end of conflict, a growing economy and the ability to enjoy health and education opportunities in life, if we can make a contribution to them we will be very pleased to do.”
The strategic partnership agreement signed on the basis of mutual respect to the principles of national sovereignty, independence, and non-interference; outlines shared commitments of the two governments in strengthening peace, democracy, development and mutual respect as two sovereign states, promotion and protection of human rights and consolidating the rule of law.
The strategic partnership also underscored the significance of shared interests, Afghanistan’s stability, improved democracy, focus on the actual capacities to combat international terrorism and efforts for a regional peace.
The strategic agreement follows London, Kabul and Lisbon Conferences, in view of friendly and strong relations between the two countries for long-term partnership based on shared strategic interests. Through strategic partnership, Australia will cooperate in a range of areas with Afghanistan including:
•         Work with Afghanistan to combat transnational threats such as terrorism, narcotics and people   smuggling;
•         Support Afghanistan’s security after 2014;
•         Support Afghanistan’s development, including through an increased aid program;
•         Encourage business and investment links;
•         Cooperate on migration issues; and
•         Foster people-to-people links and help preserve Afghanistan’s cultural heritage.
Through the Partnership, Australia will also work with the Government of Afghanistan to build the capacity of government and national institutions to promote and protect human rights.
Australia will provide $300 million as an aid contribution to the Afghan security forces over three years beyond 2014 and continue to provide training and advice to the National Army and Police of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan has recently signed strategic partnerships with India, Italy, France, Britain, US and Germany.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Kabul (BNA) On the sideline of the NATO Summit President Hamid Karzai and Francois Hollande, French new President met and discussed issues of mutual interest in Chicago.
During the meeting, the two sides exchanged views on Afghan-French historic relations, particularly on the relationship between the two nations seventeen years ago under the rule of French Socialist Party in France, to which the new French President is affiliated.
The two Presidents also discussed the presence of French troops in Afghanistan and agreed that France would continue its training mission for the Afghan Security Forces following withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan.
President Karzai thanked for French assistance and support to Afghanistan and noted that the Afghan government respects the decision made by the French government on the pullout of its troops from Afghanistan.
The President also called for French government’s enhanced cooperation in reconstruction, health, higher education, education and economic sectors of Afghanistan.

Monday, May 21, 2012
Lashkargah (BNA) NATO forces left Nawzad district of Helmand province and Afghan security forces take over the security in this district. 
Sayed Morad Agha governor of Nawzad district of Helmand said to BNA, within the last month, all foreign forces left the villages of this district and Afghan forces replaced them. 
According to him a number of foreign soldiers are in the center of that district which serving in civil section. 
Foreign forces left Nawzad district to Mosaqala district and after complete leaving of them, the Afghan forces will take all security responsibility in this district, he said. 
Governor of Nawzad said the Afghan forces opened the way between Geresh and Nawzad districts, and they established security posts along the road of these districts.  
T. Suraya-Yarzada

Monday, 21 May 2012 10:41

Asphalting Of Road Begins In Bamayan

Monday, May 21, 2012
Bamyan (BNA) The asphalting work of 12 km road was started in the center of Bamyan province. 
The road at the length of 12 km and wide of 7 km will be asphalted with the assistance of Japan at the cost of $ 7 million. 
In inauguration ceremony, Najibullah Ozhen minister of public work said to reporters, in addition of asphalting this road, Japan funded asphalting of more than 5 km other roads in the center of Bamyan province as well. 
According to him, as per demand of Afghanistan government, Japan has committed asphalting of Yakawoland road of Band-i-Amir. 
In this ceremony the Ambassador of Japan was presented as well. 
He said that after 2014, his country has committed the construction of Afghanistan. 
Japan has more programs for development of Bamyan, he said. 
T. Suraya-Yarzada

Monday, 21 May 2012 10:37

Fire Brought Damages In Jalalabad

Monday, May 21, 2012
Nangarhar (BNA) In two fire events in Jalalabad city center of Nangarhar province, tens million Afghani damages inflected to the shopkeepers. 
It is said that this event had no human casualties. The fire occurred in Ada Chaparhar, Amanzada market due to power problems. 
A responsible of Nangarhar fire department said to BNA, in this fire, tens shops of sport equipment and carpet seller have been destroyed. 
Meanwhile, Ahmad Zia Abdulzai spokesman of Nangarhar governor said to BNA, investigation started for assessment of the in that province.  T. Suraya-Yarzada