15 December 2019

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Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Kabul (BNA) President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in sideline of the 8th Conference of Heart of Asia in Ankara, capital city of Turkey.
In the meeting, both sides discussed related to Afghanistan peace process, holding tripartite meeting between leaders of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey, investment of Turkish companies in Afghanistan, management of the Afghan-Turk schools and construction of women university by Turkey in Afghanistan. President Ghani briefed the Turkish President with 7- article peace plan and considered Turkey’s cooperation and role in Afghanistan peace process as key. In the meeting, President Erdoðan thanked President Ghani for participation in the 8th Conference of Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process, saying that Turkey would remain beside the people and government of Afghanistan, continue its support to ANDSF and convince Turkish companies and investors to invest in Afghanistan. President Erdogan stressed on consolidating political gains and support to Afghan led and owned peace process.


Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Kabul (BNA) The two-day Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process, which aims to promote durable peace and stability in Afghanistan, was inaugurated in Istanbul on Monday. The theme of the conference was ‘Peace, Partnership and Prosperity’.
During the meeting, Turkey handed over its co-chairmanship, which it assumed in 2017 at the 7th Ministerial Conference in Baku, to Tajikistan.
The Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process — is a regional initiative of Afghanistan and Turkey, which was launched in 2011. It has two chairs with Afghanistan as the permanent chair, and a co-chair from among the member states that shifts each year. The first ministerial conference of the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process was in 2011.
Addressing the session, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process with the initiative of President Erdogan has proven its importance over the time, adding Turkey has played key role in Afghanistan security since 2001 and friendships between the two countries are deep, wide, lasting and without time limit.
The president said Afghan products were reaching new markets, adding peanut was exporting to China, fruits and vegetables to India, dry fruits to Canada, Finland, Germany, UK and other countries, adding regional cooperation would be key to stability.
According to President, recent efforts for regional transit of the energy has also proven the centrality of the process, adding ‘we are one step away to transit energy from central to south Asia.
“TAPI pipeline has already reached to Herat province and the construction works are underway inside Afghanistan,” the president said.
The president went on thanking US president’s recent trip to Afghanistan and his strategy for south Asia as well as his support of the Afghan-led and owned peace talks. “US has been a key ally for Afghanistan. Partnerships based on mutual interest and respect have enabled us to move forward with confidence in our commitments to problem solving and confronting threats.”
“I thank all of the participating countries who make this platform robust and relevant: Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and the United Arab Emirates,” the president said, adding ‘Afghanistan’s vision of becoming an Asian Roundabout, to our mutual benefit, largely depends on you: your country’s development priorities, as well as the utilization of your country’s assets, capabilities and experiences.’
“Over the past five years, our combined efforts have shown that regional connectivity meets the test of desirability, feasibility and credibility, thereby beneficial to us all,” he added, saying From the Tokyo Conference of 2002 to the Geneva Conference of 2018, your governments have provided us support that has had a transformative impact on the lives of Afghans.  On behalf of my fellow citizens, particularly our children, youth, women and the poor, I thank your citizens, parliaments, governments, and in particular your taxpayers, for the scale and scope of the assistance.
“To regional and international organizations who are our supportive partners, I thank you for the critical role you play in facilitating regional cooperation, by providing us platforms to agree to rules, policies and processes, as well as the best ways of investing in infrastructure, human capital, governance and rule of law. Thanks to condition-based agreements, we are creating a performance-based culture of governance, as demonstrated by successfully completing of our IMF agreement. I thank the EU for its state-building compact, an outcome-based approach that allows to design reforms on the basis of verifiable benchmarks.”
The president concluded his remarks with remembering the spirit of a great humanitarian and dear friend of Afghanistan, Dr. Tetsu Nakamura, who was tragically assassinated by terrorists last week.
“They say the greatest love is that of a stranger. Dr. Nakamura exemplified the spirit of humanity, and demonstrated what an individual with vision and commitment can do. He single-handedly transformed the lives of nearly a million Afghans by harnessing our rapid waters to make our deserts bloom. We pay tribute to his leadership, humanity, and dedication. And we express deepest sorrow to his family, the people and government of Japan, and also to the people of Nangarhar, who counted him as one of their own.”
The event as be attended by the foreign ministers and high-ranking representatives of 15 participating countries, 16 supporting countries and 12 supporting regional and international organizations of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process, according to a statement. The meeting was also attended by Turkish President Recep Tayeb Erdogan.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Kabul (BNA) On the sideline of the 8th Heart of Asia Istanbul Process Ministerial Conference, high- ranking delegates of Afghanistan, US and Uzbekistan met to discuss issues of common interest and important areas of cooperation, according to a MoFA statement on Monday.
Acting Foreign Minister Idrees Zaman met with the Special Representative of Uzbekistan’s President Ismatulla Ergashev and the US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, for the first time under a trilateral framework.
The three sides, in the first trilateral meeting, discussed and exchanged views on a range of important issues of common interest and areas of cooperation.
The discussions focused on the establishment of a strategic partnership between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, bilateral cooperation towards enhanced trade and transit between the two countries, Afghanistan’s participation in C5+1, US support to the regional connectivity and trade, free trade by Afghan entrepreneurs in Uzbekistan, expanded people to people relations between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, and consultations to explore opportunities for mutual investments in the two countries.
The meeting also agreed to convene the next RECCA meeting in Tashkent early next year, and that the next trilateral meeting will be held on the sideline of the next RECCA meeting. 

Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Kabul (BNA) Addressing a ceremony marking the International Day of Anti-Corruption here at the Government Media and Information center, the Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danesh hinted to widespread corruption but called financial corruption of the government employees and organs as the most dangerous ones.
Calling corruption as of the main challenge in the country, VP Danesh said much efforts were made and there were achievements in fight against corruption in the country.
Hinting to government’s firm will in fight against corruption, VP Danesh called support of free media, approval of the law on access to information, Afghanistan’s membership of the Open Government Partnerships, support of the civil society institutions, approval and amendments of more than 450 laws in recent years as the key steps in fight against corruption.
“We are yet to reach the goal. We failed to have an independent state organ to impartially investigate the corruption cases through a single address and leadership,” VP Danesh told the gathering.
The Second Vice President called meritocracy in government organs, establishing of a strong and independent organ for anti-corruption, controlling of the government employees’ financial aspects and strong judicial and judiciary organs as ways to fight corruption in the country.
Stressing on the need for cooperation of independent organs with government, VP Danesh praised Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC) and Integrity Watch Afghanistan’s role in fight against corruption.
Meanwhile EU Ambassador for Afghanistan thanked Afghan government’s efforts in fight against corporation, adding administrative corruption would affect all people and stressed on collective cooperation in against it.
Hinting to negative impacts of corruption on Afghan people, Danish Ambassador recalled his country’s efforts, adding Afghanistan was owning better mechanism and laws to fight the corruption, but he called lack of implementation as the only challenge.
UK acting ambassador also spoke related to the event, asking Afghan government to do more to fight widespread corruption in the country.
The head of Afghanistan’s Inspector General Hares Ghezal and UNAMA’s head of rule of law unit praised government’s efforts and emphasized on joint cooperation of government and civil institutions in fight against corruption.

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