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Politics

Monday, January 23, 2012
Kabul (BNA) Second vice-president Mohammad Karim Khalili chaired the meeting in which 6 representatives of Badakhshan at the House of People were present, the latest activities and measures report in relation to addressing the affected people emanating from avalanches in Badakhshan were discussed. 
According to report the ministry of agriculture and irrigation has already dispatched food and non-food items to 13 district of the province and work on distribution of food and non food items is going on. 
The Ministry of public health reported that three months ago primary health care materials which are responsive to primary needs of those districts for six months were dispatched to the province. 
The minister of rehabilitation and rural development said that so far 91 km of road in affected areas have been cleaned. 
The committee meeting decided that adequate medicine and cash aid to the affected families have been approved from the budget of the national disaster committee and a delegation composed of representatives of the ministries of agriculture and irrigation, public health, rehabilitation and rural development, and national department for combating disaster and two Badakhshan deputies at the house of people led by the Afghan Red Crescent Society will visit the province and distribute the allocated cash money and medicine to the martyrs and wounded members of the families.

Monday, January 23, 2012
Kabul (BNA) In a meeting with French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet on Sunday, president Karzai once again expressed his condolences over the loss of four French soldiers killed last Friday in Afghanistan. 
President Karzai asked Minister Longuet, who is on a visit to Afghanistan to convey his heartfelt condolences to the French president, the people of France and to the mourning families of the victims and stressed that the shooting reflects in no way the true public perception of the French soldiers, but rather an isolated case by an individual who is in custody and being investigated. 
The president said it was “terrible shock” to see that a similar incident happens twice involving Afghan army soldiers opening fire at French troops. 
The Afghan Defense Ministry has been ordered to thoroughly investigate the incident. 
French defense minister thanked president Karzai for his condolences and sympathies and vowed that his country would continue to assist the people of Afghanistan. 
Another subject central to discussion was the strategic partnership on which the Defense minister Longuet said his country was prepared to soon sign a long-term partnership treaty with Afghanistan, which would pave the ground for further expansion of the bilateral relations and would ensure Franc’s continued engagement in Afghanistan beyond 2014. 
President Karzai thanked France for all its assistance over the past ten years and said, “France is an old and sincere historic friend of the Afghan nation and has remained as such.”

Sunday, 21 Junuary 22 . Kabul (BNA)

-- America's special envoy Afghanistan and  Pakistan  talked peace and reconciliation with  president Hamid Karzai in Kabul Saturday, though the Afghan president made it clear that Afghans should be in the driver's seat.

U.S. diplomat Marc Grossman will meet again Sunday with president  Karzai in discussions aimed at a achieving a peaceful resolution to conflict with Taliban insurgents.

"I am pleased to be in Kabul to consult with the government of Afghanistan," Grossman said in a statement.

"The United States stands ready to assist in any way we can an Afghan-led reconciliation process to find a peaceful end to this conflict. I look forward to calling on President Karzai and discussing next steps."


president Karzai, in an address to the Afghan parliament, said the government and its peace council were making every effort to bring an end to the bloodshed.

"The Afghan nation is the owner of the peace process and any peace talks," Karzai said. "No other country or organization has the right to deprive the Afghan nation to this right. Afghanistan is not a place for foreigners to do their political experiments or a laboratory that every few years they test a new political system."

Grossman has been meeting secretly with Taliban negotiators for more than a year. Last week, U.S. senior administration officials said the United States could inch closer toward peace talks with the Taliban if President  Karzai blesses the negotiations.

"We don't have any idea standing here today what the outcome of such discussions could be," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last week. "I think all of us are entering into it with a very realistic sense of what is possible. And that includes, of course, President Karzai and his government, which after all bear the ultimate responsibility and the consequences of any such discussions."

Clinton acknowledged last week that discussions about opening up a Taliban office in Qatar and transferring some Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay were part of the U.S. support for Afghan reconciliation efforts.

She stressed that nothing had been concluded, but said she was sending Grossman to Kabul and Qatar for further consultations. Diplomatic sources said that depending on the outcome of the talks with  President Karzai, Grossman could have another meeting with the Taliban.

Secret talks between the United States and the militant Taliban began in November 2010, sources said. Senior U.S. officials and diplomatic sources said German officials brokered initial meetings with Tayeb al-Agha, an aide to Taliban leader Mullah Omar. The sources said after a series of meetings, Agha was able to prove his good faith as an interlocutor with key Taliban leaders.


Grossman's visit to Afghanistan also comes days after Pakistan's government, embroiled in a squabble between civilian and military leaders, declined a visit from Grossman, according to a senior Pakistani government official.

A U.S. State Department official said Grossman wanted to go to Pakistan, but the Pakistani government declined for the time being.


 

Sunday, January 22, 2012
Lashkargah (BNA) Denmark is continuing its assistance to Afghanistan. 
The statement was made in a meeting with Mohammad Gulab Mangal on Friday during her trip to Helmand province. 
After meeting with Helmand governor, Danish prime minister participated in a joint conference and said, “Her trip to the province aims at evaluating of the transition process and meeting with civil and military officials based in the province.” 
She said Denmark would also continue its civil assistance to Afghanistan beyond 2014. 
Considering the transition process in the province as an important step, the Danish prime minister said Denmark would support the process. 
In this news conference Mohammad Gulb Mangal, governor of Helmand praised Denmark for its assistance to Helmand in various sectors. 
Governor of Helmand said the Danish prime minister has stressed on her country’s civil assistance to the province in various sectors. 
Denmark has nearly 740 soldiers based in Grishk district of the province.