15 December 2017

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Friday December 15, 2017
Kabul (BNA)
بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
You are Excellency President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,
Honorable Secretary General,
Honorable Ministers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, I wish to express our gratitude to His Excellency, Recep Tayyip Erdogan President of the Republic of Turkey for calling this extraordinary meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
This meeting takes place on an issue of great concern not only to the Islamic World, but rather to the international community as a whole.
The unsettled question of Palestine is widely recognized to be one of the pressing issues facing the international community.  For several decades now, the global community has been in search of a viable and broad-based solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict - one that could provide the foundation for durable peace and security on the basis of the Two-State Solution.
For numerous years now, various international efforts, including those conducted by the UN, the OIC, Quartet and League of Arab States, failed to bring about any change to the status quo, including the resumption of direct talks between the two sides, which is critically important for any progress whatsoever. Against this already difficult backdrop, the situation has now become even more complicated with last week’s unilateral decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
As affirmed by the leadership of the Government of National Unity of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan last week, we believe this decision contradicts various UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, and runs the risk of severely undermining the prospect of a just, comprehensive and lasting solution to the question of Palestine, on the basis of the Two-State formula - which is deemed by the broader international community to be the only viable way forward.
As a country that maintains a bilateral strategic partnership with the United States of America to defeat international terrorism and secure lasting peace, security and stability in our country and region, we had conveyed our clear concern and position over its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
At this critical juncture, the onus is on us all - the OIC, the United Nations; European Union; League of Arab States, as well as other relevant international stakeholders - to work in tandem, with greater resolve, and in a new spirit of collaboration to change the status quo and to bring about a just and favorable environment within which key outstanding issues in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict can be resolved.
We must do so not only as our moral, religious and legal responsibly to help end the suffering of our Palestinian brothers and sisters, but also knowing that a just and comprehensive solution to the question of Palestine will have a profound impact in promoting peace, security and stability in the wider region.
Beyond the political aspect of the troubles facing the Palestinian people, the international community’s renewed approach in support of their plight must also give due focus and attention on improving their socio-economic and humanitarian conditions.
Equally important, it is imperative that the Government of Israel brings about an immediate halt to the expansion of settlements and its systematic violation of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian People, including the imposition of restrictions on access to basic necessities, including food, water, medicine and electricity.
Needless to say, such measures violate international law, constitute a grave violation of human rights and undermine peace and stability. In the broader context, all efforts must be made to restore an atmosphere conducive to direct and results-oriented negotiations between the concerned sides.
Mr. Chairman,
Jerusalem has for decades held enormous significance, as it was the first Qiblah for Muslims, while also maintaining an integral part of the identify of various cultures and religions.
As echoed consistently by the international community over the past several days, any decision taken on the status of Jerusalem, outside the parameters of a comprehensive agreement between Palestine and Israel is counter-productive to the prospect of a two-State Solution.
We hope the new US Administration will reconsider its recent decision, for the benefit of a comprehensive and sustainable agreement, which will lead to Palestine and Israel living side by side in peace and co-existence.
On this occasion, let me reaffirm the deep solidarity and support of the people and Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan with our Palestinian brothers and sisters.
Today, as ever before, we stand fully committed in their just and long-standing quest for the realization of their inalienable rights: the chance to live in peace, security, dignity – and above all the right to full independence and full-Statehood.
Thank You.
Ansari

Friday December 15, 2017
Kabul (BNA) As many as 12 terrorists have been killed during clearing operations led by Afghan National Army within the last 24 hours across the country.
Ministry of National Defense press office with releasing a statement said today, the operations were conducted with support of Afghan air and artillery forces to suppress armed oppositions and protect the lives and properties of people in insecure areas of Nangarhar, Paktika, Kandahar, Farah, Faryab, Baghlan, Jawzjan and Helmand provinces.
In addition, six militants were wounded and some heavy and light weapons have been discovered by Afghan security forces during the operation, the source added.
T/M.A.Ansari

Friday December 15, 2017
Kabul (BNA) The President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani met with President of Republic of      Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the sideline of the OIC extraordinary summit which was held in Turkey on Wednesday.
The two leaders discussed a series of issues of mutual and regional importance. Bolstering mutual cooperation and the peace process came under discussion. President Erdoğan thanked President Ghani for attending and speaking at the OIC extraordinary summit.
President Ghani appreciated the Turkish president’s invitation for attending the OIC extraordinary summit, lauding the Turkish initiative under which the Summit was successfully organized. He remarked that the summit is a good opportunity for seeking a solution to the issue of Palestine.
President Ghani said that a wise leadership is the need of the hour which will enable us resolve the issue through consensus and constructive dialogue.
President Ghani thanked the Turkish government for assisting Afghanistan particularly under the framework of ISAF and the Resolute Support Mission and commended the Turkish companies operating in Afghanistan.
The President asked President Erdoğan to recommend to the Afghan Government those companies that are registered with the Turkish Government who, after going through the stages of procurement process, will aid Afghanistan in carrying out its construction and infrastructure programs.
Appreciating the good intention of President Ghani, President Erdoğan said that Turkey stands ready to provide cooperation to Afghanistan in different realms of development and will remain with the Afghan people and Government as a partner.
He reassured the President that Turkey will augment its cooperation in education sector, showing the readiness to construct Muallana Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi Women University.
Thanking the Turkish President for initiating the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process and describing it as an important platform for discussing important topics, the two sides further conversed about the mentioned process.
The Turkish President said that the upcoming HoA-IP meeting will be organized next year in Istanbul City the main themes of which will be centered on the development of Afghanistan.
The two agreed that regional connectivity is the key to enhancing cooperation, calling the signing of lapis lazuli route an important step towards regional economic development.
President Ghani proposed the formation of a joint economic committee, underscoring that the committee should hold regular meetings to take practical steps in this regard. The proposal was approved by the Turkish side.
The Turkish President welcomed the U.S. strategy for South Asia and Afghanistan and described it as a positive tool for region-wide changes.
President Ghani said that the goal of the new U.S. strategy is to pursue and sustain peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region, iterating that Afghanistan will positively utilize the prevailing opportunity.
He added that Afghanistan has always demonstrated its preparedness for the dialogues, reaffirming that Afghanistan is ready to carry on with the dialogues in two dimension: dialogue with Pakistan on a state-to-state mechanism and negotiations with Taliban through the Afghan-led process which were successfully held in the past.
Supporting the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process, President Erdoğan said that Turkey stands ready to take steps in developing relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan, sparing no efforts in this respect.
President Ghani returned home from attending the extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Ansari

Friday December 15, 2017
Ghazni City (BNA) At least 9 anti-government militias were killed following air attacks carried out by coalition forces in southern Ghazni province.
Col. Fazul Khuda Ibrahimkhail spokesman of 203 tundar army corps told BNA reporter, in the air raids 9 armed oppositions were killed and 2 others were wounded in Andar district of Ghazni province.
According to another report, personnel of 203 tundar army corps succeeded to discover and neutralize 6 round of mines from relevant areas of Maidan/Wardak and Ghazni provinces. 
T/M.A.Ansari

Friday December 15, 2017
Kabul (BNA) Researchers are using drones to identify archaeological sites across Afghanistan that external forces like the Taliban have made impossible to safely visit in person. They’ve more than tripled Afghanistan’s catalog of known archaeological features, according to Science, bringing the number above 4,500. These span roughly two millennia and include everything from massive shelters for caravan travelers to ancient canal systems.
The Afghan Heritage Mapping Partnership is a collaboration between U.S. and Afghan researchers who are poring over data gathered through a combination of commercial satellites, U.S. spy satellites and military drones. It received a $2 million grant from the United States State Department in 2015, and will continue through 2018, according to the University of Chicago, whose researchers comprise the American side of the collaboration.
“The capability to explore a relatively little known region efficiently and safely is really exciting,” David Thomas, an archaeologist at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, who is not a member of the mapping team, told Science. “I’d expect tens of thousands of archaeological sites to be discovered. Only when these sites are recorded can they be studied and protected.”
The discoveries have included 119 football field-sized caravanserais—lodging for those traveling by camel caravan—which extend across the country’s southern deserts in roughly 12-mile intervals, according to Science. Emily Boak, a UChicago heritage analyst, told Science that the caravans once transported precious goods like silk, gems and spices from India and even porcelain from China.
Previously, Boak told Science, many researchers assumed the Safavid Empire—the early Iranian dynasty whose reach included Afghanistan—had faded by the 16th and early 17th centuries.
The scale and planning that went into constructing the caravanserais from that time suggests it may have actually been thriving.
“There is a long-standing view that once the Portuguese entered the Indian Ocean [in the 16th century] no one bothered to cross Central Asia,” project manager Kathryn Franklin, an archaeologist at the University of Chicago, told Science. “But this shows a huge infrastructure investment of the Safavids a century later.”
The use of American drones in the Middle East for the purpose of scientific preservation is a welcome change. The Taliban has also historically pursued an agenda of destroying valuable archaeological features, as outlets like NBC have reported. In an unexpectedly touching detail, Science noted that the project has proved so compelling that archaeologists in their 80s have been coming out of retirement in order to help.
Newsweek
Ansari

Friday December 15, 2017
Kunduz City (BNA) Afghan security forces by discovering and confiscating 8 round of mines succeeded to prevent from several bloodiest events in northern Kunduz province.
Col. Nasratullah Jamshidi in-charge of publication in 209 Shaheen army corps told BNA correspondent, the mines had been planted by enemies of the country to target Afghan security forces and civilians in various parts of Qarghez village, Amam Sahib district of the province, which fortunately discovered and refused by security personnel timely.
T/M.A.Ansari

Friday December 15, 2017
Kabul (BNA) Afghanistan’s government wants the U.S. to redeploy the A-10 Thunderbolt II to bolster efforts to fight the Taliban, according to a Military Times report.
A senior Afghan defense official said that country’s government wants the vaunted A-10, which is highly regarded for its durability and lethality in close-air-support operations, to return to Afghanistan.
No decision on A-10 deployments has been made, according to Air Force Brig. Gen. Lance Bunch, who directs US air operations in Afghanistan. “The discussions of what forces we move to Afghanistan or drawdown from Iraq and Syria are all ongoing,” Bunch said.
After the liberation of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria in July and October, respectively, operations against ISIS in those two countries, in which the A-10 played a major role, have begun to wind down.
President Donald Trump has also started to pursue an expansion of U.S. operations in Afghanistan over the latter half of the year and the Air Force may see increased operations in Afghanistan as a part of that expansion.
In September, the Air Force chief of staff said the force was “absolutely” reviewing greater involvement following Trump’s decision on Afghanistan strategy.
The Air Force has deployed six more F-16 fighter aircraft — bringing the total to 18 F-16s — and a KC-135 tanker aircraft to Afghanistan in recent months. And the air war in the country has already intensified. (Though the Pentagon has begun classifying previously available data about military operations in Afghanistan.)
The numbers of weapons released by U.S. combat aircraft in Afghanistan have hit highs not seen since the 2010 surge. Air Forces Central Command data released in October showed 751 weapons dropped in September, eclipsing the 503 released in August and setting a new five-year high. (Data released in November adjusted September’s total down to 414 and recorded a new high — 653 — in October.)
U.S. forces in Afghanistan have also turned their attention to the Taliban’s involvement in the drug trade in an effort to cut into the insurgent group’s financing. Advanced F-22 fighters, joined by B-52 bombers and Afghan A-29 Tucano propeller aircraft, attacked drug labs in November.
Since then, about 25 Taliban drug labs in northern Helmand province — a hotbed for Afghan drug production — have been destroyed, costing the Taliban almost $16 million in revenue, according to Bunch, who said the air campaign against Taliban financing had only “just begun.”
In 2017, the area under opium cultivation in Afghanistan increased 63% over the previous year, according to UN data. Even though eradication increased 111% during that period, the number of opium-poppy-free provinces declined from 13 to 10.
The Taliban has gotten heavily involved in the drug trade. The insurgent group has also expanded its territorial control in Afghanistan — from 11% of the country’s 407 districts in February to 13% in August.
Trump’s new strategy will also deploy more U.S. troops to Afghanistan — some of whom will embed with Afghan forces closer to the fighting. That could put them in harm’s way and will likely lead to more U.S. aircraft providing close air support, at which the A-10 excels.
The Air Force backed away from plans to begin mothballing its A-10 fleet earlier this year. The Air Force has pushed Congress for additional funding to produce new wings for 110 of its 283 Thunderbolts, and Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson assured lawmakers this month that money allotted for that project would keep the A-10 dominant.
“I happen to be a fan of the A-10,” Wilson told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Dec. 7.
Taskandpurpose
Ansari

Friday, 15 December 2017 14:08

Weapon Storage Discovered in Logar

Friday December 15, 2017
Pul-e-Alam City (BNA) A weapons storage belonging Taliban terrorist group had been discovered and seized by Afghan policemen in central Logar province yesterday
Shahpoor Ahmazadi spokesperson in police headquarters of Logar told BNA reporter, the storage had been discovered by Quick Reaction Unit forces in Alozay village, Pul-e-Alam city the provincial capital of the province.
Some bullets of heavy and light weapons, grenades and some explosive materials have been seized from the weapon storage, Ahmadzai underlined.
T/M.A.Ansari

Friday December 8, 2017
Jalalabad City (BNA) At least one prayers was martyred and eight others were wounded after a bomb ripped through a mosque in eastern Nangarhar province today.
Atuallah Khogyani spokesman of Nangarhar’s provincial governor told BNA reporter, the incident took place inside a mosque in Mohmand Dara district of the province, when the worshippers were doing Friday prayer.
The injured were shifted to a Khani Khail district’s hospital.
It is mentionable that explosive materials placed in the mosque and donated, when worshippers were doing Friday prayer, the source added.
No group has commented regarding the incident so far.
T/M.A.Ansari

Friday December 8, 2017
Kabul (BNA) As many as 37 armed rebels were killed following joint clearing operations led by Afghan security troops within the last 24 hours across the country.
Ministry of National Defense press office stated BNA, the operations were conducted to ensure peace and stability and suppress armed oppositions in insecure areas of Nangarhar, Kunar, Paktia, Ghazni, Kandahar, Jawzjan, Faryab, Kunduz and Helmand provinces.
During the operations Shadow district governor of Taliban for Hesarak district of Nangarhar province was among the dead, the sources added.
Addition, 16 anti-government insurgents were wounded and six suspicious were arrested during the operations as well, the source concluded.
T/M.A.Ansari

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