18 September 2020

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Kabul, Thursday 2 February 2012

(BNA )The United States hopes to shift its military role in Afghanistan from combat to training during the second half of 2013, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Wednesday.

But he said the US administration wanted to see all the NATO allies in Afghanistan — including France — “respect” a strategy adopted at a summit in Lisbon in November 2010, which calls for handing over security duties to Afghan forces by the end of 2014.

“Hopefully by the mid-to-latter part of 2013, we’ll be able to make a transition from a combat role to a train and advise and assist role, which is basically fulfilling what Lisbon was all about,” Panetta told reporters aboard his plane en route to Brussels.

“We all went in here together and we’ll all go out together, but we have to do it on the basis of a strong alliance and a strong commitment that was made in Lisbon,” said Panetta, who was due to meet NATO defense ministers in his visit to Belgium.

The NATO-led coalition this year needed to cement battlefield gains against the Taliban insurgency and to build on progress in strengthening the Afghan army and police, he said.

He said 2013 would be a “crucial” year for the final transfer of remaining areas to Afghan security forces.

“2014 becomes a year of consolidating the transition,” he said.

Panetta’s comments reaffirmed signals from President Barack Obama’s administration that after a decade of war, America’s military mission in Afghanistan will soon evolve into a supporting role with Afghan forces taking the lead in the fight against the Taliban.

It was unclear how the planned shift from combat to a mainly advisory role would affect planned troop levels for US forces.

With nearly 90,000 US troops now in Afghanistan, Panetta said that “no decision has been made with regards to the level of forces we’ll have in 2013.”

By the end of September, the number of US troops is due to drop to 68,000, following the scheduled withdrawal of a “surge force” that deployed in 2010.

“My hope is at that at this ministerial (in Brussels), we can discuss their decision and hopefully find a way to make sure we bring them back into the Lisbon strategy,” he said.

A senior US defense official told reporters it was possible that there was no serious gap between the French stance and NATO‘s timeline, depending on the precise details of what Paris planned.


Wednesday, February 01, 2012
Kabul (BNA) President Hamid Karzai met with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Kehar this noon to discuss matters of mutual concern to the two countries.
BNA reported, the sides focused on issues including measures to further enhance the bilateral relations, the peace process and the threat of terrorism the two nations are facing.
The Afghan Foreign Minister Dr. Rasoul, Deputy Minister Jawed Ludin and Afghan Ambassador in Islamabad Mohd. Umer Daudzai, were also present in the meeting.
Mrs. Kehar said her visit to Afghanistan demonstrates her country’s gesture of a goodwill aimed at bolstering the good neighborly relations.
Minister Kehar also conveyed to President Karzai an invitation to attend the tripartite summit of Afghanistan-Pakistan and Iran scheduled to be held in mid-February in Pakistan.
Foreign Minister Kehar vowed that her country was fully supportive of the Afghanistan peace process.
While recognizing the effective role that Pakistan can play for the peace process in Afghanistan, President Karzai said insecurity in Afghanistan and in Pakistan has inflicted great harms to the people of the two countries and have held back the two nations from progress.
President Karzai called the extremism in the region a harmful scourge that stands in the way of progress and stability and said it was imperative for the two countries to eliminate the roots of the problem and take practical measures in ensuring peace and security.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Kabul (BNA) Deputy foreign minister Jawed Ludin received Canadian deputy minister of foreign affairs and International Trade, Morris Rosenberg, at the Foreign Ministry this afternoon. 
Ludin expressed the gratitude of the Afghan government and people for Canada’s support to Afghanistan’s security and development over the past decease. 
“There is an intimate appreciation of Canada’s engagement in Afghanistan over the past ten years among our people and government,” Ludin said. “And this has come at the cost of great Canadian sacrifices for the security and the generous assistance of Canada for the development of Afghanistan.” 
Rosenberg reiterated Canada’s most recent commitment from the international Afghanistan Conference in Bonn to long-term engagement with Afghanistan and continued development support to the country. 
“This is a deep and multifaceted relationship. 
The sacrifices that Canada has borne here speak to our past and present commitment to Afghanistan,” Rosenberg said, “We’ll be here after 2014”. 
A total of 195 Canadian soldiers have lost their lives in Afghanistan over the year. 
Today, with nearly 1000 soldiers in the country, Canada is the second-largest contributor to NATO’s training mission for the Afghan national army and police. 
Canada has so far provided a total of nearly $ 2 billion to Afghanistan’s reconstruction, with an additional pledge of $ 720 million for the period 2011-1014. 
Morris was accompanied in the meeting by the Charge d’affaires of Canada in Kabul, Shelly Whiting, Graeme Mclntyre, director of the Afghanistan Task Force at the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and Lt Gen Stuart Beare, commander of Canadian Expeditionary force command.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012
Kabul (BNA) Chaired by First Vice President, Marshal Mohammad Qaseem Faheem, the regulations committee for the council of ministers held session in the council of ministers palace discussing the drafts and presentations, his office said. 
To begin with, the new proposal regulations and rules, Afghanistan’s tripartite rules of criminal execution, formation of  authority of the Afghanistan attorney office and the rule for the counter corruption had been discussed and confirmed by the committee members and were said to be sent to the council of minister for ratification. 
The vice president told those of the participants that the protection of the people life and keeping the society sound was the responsibility of the government and should clearly be reflected in their rules. 
Faheem went on as saying that the entire government references including the ministry of health and other related organs were responsible to offer better health services and protect the people life and help the government be able to provide the people with enough health facilities.