21 August 2017

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Politics

Saturday August 12, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Speaking at a joint conference of ‘Fighting Corruption in Defense and Security Sector’, Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah said corruption should not be behaved politically, otherwise, it would make the problem bigger, CE office said in a statement.
According to the statement, during the conference, CE Abdullah said he was shocked to see weapons and equipment of the security forces being sold. Corruption in security and defense agencies is shocking but the Afghan government has a firm will to weed out the scourge, said Chief Executive, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. The session was opened by President Ashraf Ghani last Tuesday. The Attorney General’s Office and the Defense Ministry signed a number of joint agreements for a stern campaign against endemic corruption in the security apparatus.
Dr. Abdullah said at the conference that the selling of military equipment is a “national treason”, adding that corruption in security agencies will damage the sacrifices and dedication of the Afghan forces. “The sale of equipment and weapons is shocking,” CE Abdullah said. “The law should be enforced equally on all. If any neglect occurs, be sure the people will think the law has been abused.” Participants of the summit spoke out about the ways to fight corruption in the security bodies. The Attorney General Farid Hamidi said corruption was a major threat facing soldiers. “You (soldiers) are awake at nights to enable the men and women in this country to go to school and university, to let the children smile. All this are because of your courage and sacrifice,” he said. At the end, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah vowed to attorney generals and security officials that the government is decisive in fighting corruption, but this is not a one day task.
 

Thursday August 10, 2017

Kabul (BNA) New building of provincial council for Ghor province was inaugurated the other day.
According to BNA report, in the inauguration ceremony Ghulam Nasir Khazi governor of Ghor province said, the building has been built with a cost of over 10,000,000 Afs funded by government.
The two-floor building has eight rooms and constructed on 330 meters of land in Ghor city the provincial capital of the province.
T/M.A.Ansari
 

Thursday August 10, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Basically, each government sets its foreign policy data in a way that ultimately addresses its security, strategic, economic, political, cultural and military needs in the short or long term.
Of course, one should not expect that the main foreign policy goals of a country would remain in the same conditions under different circumstances and there would be no changes.
Therefore, we must sometimes consider factors and variables that are fundamental to explain the behavior of governments and help analyze their foreign policy. One of the characteristics  of US foreign policy over the past years has been exerting pressure on Russia through advancing of its political and military institutions toward Russia’s borders, provoking its neighbors, especially the West-oriented countries and in general Commonwealth countries and infiltrating into the social strata of these countries through Interference in internal affairs was followed by the US under the following titles: institutionalization of democracy and support for the independence of these countries.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the beginning of widespread unrest in Russia, the Kremlin has for some times forgot the Middle East, till the spectacular oil revenues and weak American policies provided a favorable atmosphere for Russia to return to the Middle East.  Over a decade in the past, Russia has sought to revive its fragile economy, which has helped to some extent maintain and improve its military capabilities. This has led to maintaining international confidence in the country and has led to the activation of economic and trade relations with the countries of the region. Moscow’s approach to the Middle East has undergone substantial changes since the Soviet era and the rule of communism in this country until now; in fact, it can be said that its strategy towards the countries of the region that adopted during the Cold War based on the idea of “Creation areas of influence to confront the West” was based on the economic interests, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and today we are seeing Moscow’s pragmatic approach to the region. During the Cold War and Soviet-American confrontation, the Middle East region for the Russians was a good place for political and military maneuvers in contrast to the West, and also was a good market for modern Russian weapons and heavy machinery. Russia’s policy toward the Middle East, whether in Soviet times or after its collapse, is always defined by how and in which relationship the country is with the West, and in particular the United States. For example, during the Cold War, with regard to the struggle between the Russians and Americans, the Soviet Union sought to disrupt the interests of the West in the region through its allies and customers in the Middle East, but in the post-Soviet period and in the nineties, given the proximity of Russia and the United States, we saw the expansion of Russian relations with the Middle East countries, both through economic exchanges and interactions. In the pre-collapse, Russia’s cooperation with some Arab states in the region was based on the logic of opposition to the West and the construction of socialism in the developing world, and Moscow divided the Middle Eastern countries into two pro-Western and pro-Soviet camps, but now the Russians are trying to interact with all the countries of the region.
The Russians retained the approach “first of politics, and then economy” which remained from the Soviet era and the Cold War, for example, Russia’s policy toward Iran can be exemplified in this regard. Due to its anti-Western stance, Iran has made the Russians establish friendly relations with Tehran. Iran, from the viewpoint of the Russian foreign policy apparatus, plays an important role in the future of the multipolar global system, which, with the lifting of sanctions against Iran, has led Tehran to return to the global energy market again, and this causes the reduction of Russia’s oil prices. The sum of these factors and drivers has led Russia to return to its Middle Eastern policy, such as the Cold War and the geopolitical rivalries of that time. The Russians had a pessimistic view of the popular protests in the Arab countries, although they obviously did not support the leaders of those countries. From the perspective of the Russian media, the overthrow of former Russian allies in the region, such as Saddam Hussein in Iraq, or Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, has led to the emergence and growth of Islamic radicalism today that Russia attributes these actions to the US. The main purpose of the Russian state media is to convey this message to its audience that democracy is not effective in Arab countries, and Russia prefers authoritarian rulers to radical Islamists. The Russian authorities at the outset announced their support for the Syrian regime on the Syrian conflict. The Syrian opponents at the very beginning of the protests tried to convince the Russian authorities that in case of supporting the opposition to dismantle Assad regime, Russia’s interests would be preserved.
The role of the Russian-affiliated media in shaping the country’s public opinion was important in support of Bashar al-Assad because they were able to show a good look at the Syrian civil war and public opinion as a state which is faced with a full-scale foreign invasion from the west and resists jihadists belonging to ISIL, among which the Russians are on the brink of “Peace Power” and the United States and its allies are alongside the “Evil Forces” because they support the opposition forces with Bashar al-Assad. The same Russian media imaginary work has made  the work complicated for the Russian diplomats, as part of the Assad opposition, which the Russians have labeled them terrorists, are involved in the negotiations on the Syrian crisis, and Russia has to make them part of the adopted the process of negotiations on the future of Syria. The Russian military intervention has made the balance of power in the battlefield in the hands of the Syrian army and the government’s positions in the negotiations are strengthened.
After the falling of the Russian fighter jet by Turkish jets in October 2015, Russia’s airborne forces deployed ground-based airborne systems around the city of Latakia, which made Russia an important and influential military force in Syria. The Syrian conflict is a symbol of the indecision and inability of the Western alliance and the Arab states, and with the presence of the Russian air force to the Syrian crisis, the Russians have found the opportunity to show not only their determination and military power, but also secure their position toward becoming a global power
Russia’s Middle East policy has experience many ups and downs. Russia seeks to build ties with the countries of the region based on the pragmatic approach. This approach allows Moscow to engage in broader dialogue with all regional actors and make itself a valuable partner for them. By expanding ties with countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Syria, Israel and Palestine, Russia has become an intermediary actor in the region. Therefore, Russia has reduced the chances of undermining or eliminating these relations by giving priority to pragmatic behavior in building relations with the countries of the region .The presence of Russia in the Middle East is due to several important factors. The first factor is to maintain the status quo in the region; the second factor in the presence of Russia in the Middle East is the war on terrorism and the prevention of its proliferation into Russia, and it should be noted that, as the US’s presence in the Middle East diminished, Russia Seeks to expand its influence in the region. This gives Russia a great opportunity to act as an actor in expanding power beyond threats when threatened.
The next factor is to maintain the status quo of the region. Maintaining the current regimes and their affiliated institutions is among the main goals of Russia; in other words, Russia seeks to maintain stability in the region, as it is supposed that Moscow will support evolutionary changes rather than revolutionary changes. Slow According to the Russian officials, there is a close connection between foreign military participation with the aim of regime change on the one hand and instability and emergence of terrorist threats on the other.
The wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya are good examples of this claim.
In fact, terrorist threats consists a large part of the logic of Russia’s presence and its action in the Middle East. Given the presence of insurgents in the North Caucasus, which were directly supported by extremists in the Middle East, Russia gained a valuable experience of how dangerous is to neglect potential terrorist threats. Therefore, one of the key issues in Russia’s Middle East policy is to oppose processes that may lead to more instability in the region. The next factor in Russia’s presence in the Middle East is the war on terrorism and the prohibition on its expansion into Russian territory. This is one of the main reasons for Russia’s military presence in the Syrian crisis. Insurgents who have gained operational experience on the Iraqi and Syrian fields can relatively and easily return to Russia through the Caucasus and Central Asia and put the country under the terrorist attack. It should be noted that as the United States declines in the Middle East, Russia is seeking to expand its influence in the region. This gives Russia a great opportunity to act as an actor in expanding power beyond threats when threatened.
See P3...
This is in line with Russia’s main goal of maintaining the status quo aimed at undermining US-backed regimes in the Gulf.
Lowering the US presence in the region has made the old ally of this country become anxious in the region and try to diversify their relations with the new partners. Naturally, Russia seeks to change the behavior of the regional governments to pursue their own interests, especially in the economic sector (military agreements, energy sector, superior technologies, etc.). After the crisis in Ukraine and Western sanctions, the discussion of Russia’s “accelerated” eastward expansion is taking place. Asian countries are more economically attractive to Russia than the Middle East region. Just look at the statistics of Russian arms exports. According to Rostec, in 2014, 75 percent of Russian arms were exported to Asia, 9 percent to Latin America and only 7 percent to the Middle East. However, Russia’s economic relations with the countries of the region, such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Iran, etc., should not be ignored.
Militarily, Russia only has had a serious presence in Syria only, although it was financed by the Ministry of Defense, and didn’t exert much pressure on the Russian economy. According to official statistics, Russia’s military incursion into the Syrian campaign (from the end of September 2015 to mid-2016) has cost around $ 500 million. Basically, Russia’s biggest cost in the Middle East is its military presence in Syria. Apart from this, Russia has neither economic nor military capability to play a parallel role with the United States in the region.
Russia’s Middle East policy is a combination of the elements of its policies in the Soviet era, in which the Middle East, during that was period of the confrontation between Russia and the West, with the policies that Yeltsin undertook during his presidency of that era, its interests prioritized based on economic interests. This merger gave Putin an opportunity to take a pragmatic approach to the region’s issues; for example, Russia is opposed to Saudi Arabia over the Syrian issue, but it is cooperating on energy-related issues and arms sales in the framework of bilateral relations. Also, part of Russia’s actions in the region is opportunistic; for example, it has benefited from US landslides and defeats in the Middle East in recent years, and that was expanded furthermore, with the agreement between the United States and Russia over Syria’s disarmament of chemical weapons in 2013.
The Middle East has not had a high priority for modern Russia. In the documents of Russian foreign policy over the past 10 years, while the “close foreign region” and relations with the Euro-Atlantic states are naturally the priority, the Middle East region is at the bottom of Russia’s “regional priorities”. Regarding this, Russia’s main goal in the Middle East is to maintain the status quo. Moscow seeks to strike a balance between US-backed regimes and the axis of resistance, with the goal that none of the regional alliances prevail over its other rivals. In the current situation, Russia’s first priority is “Crimea” and “the lifting of sanctions against Moscow,” and that many observers believe that Russia’s return to the region is, more than anything, a leverage captured by the Russians from the West in the Ukrainian crisis. What does not necessarily mean the trash of Moscow’s foreign policy; it is an affirmation of what Vladimir Putin said at a press conference: “My goal is just one thing: ensuring interests of Russia”.
Of course, Russia’s current policy is similar and could be compared with the “Deterrent Policy” of the US. The policy which would undeniably considered as a major policy line during the Cold War. Subsequent to that the “Iron Curtail” as a principle could be counted as an aggressive policy of the west to deter Soviets from advancing toward the west. The same policy is now applying by Russia to deter and stop NATO’s move forward. The Russia-west rivalries may affect Afghanistan, especially in a time whenever, the security situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating each day. As recently, Afghan and foreign medias announced that Russia is probably provides weapon and ammunition to Taliban and support them to stand against ISIS. This is a very perilous approach toward further escalating tension in Afghanistan and helps Islamic radicalization in the region. In the next piece of writing, I would like to discuss broadly on Russia’s role in peacemaking process in Afghanistan and the role it may play to further escalate the violence in this country.
Abdul Naser Noorzad
 

Wednesday August 9, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Digital passport issuing center was opened for Afghan refugees to Pakistan and Iran in MoFA by minister of foreign affairs Salahuddin Rabbani and representatives for NSC, MoI, MoF, MoRRA and population registration center.
Based on decision of national unity government and for addressing problem of identification document of Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran, it is determined that after specification of their identification, in cooperation with Afghanistan political and consulate offices at the two countries, necessary information will be sent to center through new system opened yesterday and digitalized passports are published in directorate of consulate affairs for MoFA and sent and distributed in the respective countries.
It is determined that during the coming two years, digitalized passports will be issued through this center to more than 2.5 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran.
 

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