24 January 2017

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Politics

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Kabul (BNA) The Saudi king, conveying his condolences to President Ghani and the Afghan nation, has denounced recent Kandahar and Kabul bombings as a violation of Islamic teachings.  
A statement from the Presidential Palace said King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, during a telephonic communication on Wednesday evening, shared his grief with President Ashraf Ghani.
It said the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques denounced the attacks in Kabul, Kandahar and Helmand and conveyed his condolences to President Ghani and the Afghan people.
The Afghan people had been victims of terrorism, he noted, pledging joint efforts for eradicating the threat. Saudi Arabia stood with Afghanistan in the fight against terror, he added.
President Ghani thanked the king for extending condolences to the Afghans, while stressing a joint struggle against the menace.
“As a follower of Islam, I will not permit a small insurgent group to victimize innocent people in violation of Islamic teachings and Afghan values in justifying their subversive activities.”
Two days back, twin suicide bombings took place near the parliament building in the capital, claiming 46 people lives and inflicted injuries on another 100 people.
Also on Tuesday, a suicide attack on a guesthouse at the Kandahar governor’s office killed 11 people, including deputy governor Abdul Ali Shamsi and five UAE diplomats, and wounded 16 others.
There was also a suicide bombing in southern Helmand at the same time, resulting in a dozen casualties.
 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Washington (BNA) Gen. James Mattis, US Defense Secretary nominee, on Thursday told lawmakers those terrorist sanctuaries inside Pakistan was a key operational issue faced by the Afghan security forces.
“Sanctuary and freedom of movement for the Afghan Taliban and associated militant network inside Pakistan territory is a key operational issue faced by the Afghan security forces,” Mattis told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing.
“If confirmed, I will examine efforts to deny sanctuary to extremist forces undermining the stability and security of Afghanistan,” Mattis said adding that countries in the region have the responsibility to support the reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
Countries in the region he said should increase pressure on the Afghan Taliban and associated militant networks to stop their campaigns of violence in Afghanistan.
Of the view that Pakistan has learned some hard lessons because of its dealings with the Afghan Taliban, as violence in that country reflects, Mattis said Pakistan should do more to collaborate with its neighbor.
We should urge Pakistan to take further actions against the Taliban and the Haqqani network,” Mattis said.
Supporting reconciliation process with the Taliban, Mattis said any American role in this should be in support of US national security interests, including the sovereignty of the Government of Afghanistan.
He supported the three red-lines of the outgoing Obama Administration on talks with the Taliban.
“In the past, the Afghan Taliban were told that they must break ties with Al-Qaeda, renounce violence and abide by the Afghan constitution in order to be allowed to enter the political process. I believe these continue to be reasonable demands,” he said.
Responding to a question on conditioning aid to Pakistan, Mattis said he would review “all option” even though this has had a mixed history.
Mattis said Pakistan has “learned some hard lessons” because of its dealings with the Afghan Taliban, as violence in that country reflects. “I believe they should do more to collaborate with their neighbor.
We should urge Pakistan to take further actions against the Taliban and the Haqqani network,” Mattis said.
“If confirmed, I will work with the State Department and the Congress to incentivize Pakistan’s co-operation on issues critical to our national interests and the region’s security, with focus on Pakistan’s need to expel or neutralize externally-focused militant groups that operate within its borders,” he said.
 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Chief Executive, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and his accompanied delegation participated in praying ceremony of Ali Akbar Hashimi Rafsanjani in Tehran.
Presenting the government and people of Afghanistan, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah offered his deep sadness and sympathy over death of one of Iran’s revolution founders Ali Akbar Rafsanjani to leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ayatullah Sayed Ali Khamanyee, Iranian President Dr. Hasan Rohani and family of Rafsanjani.
In meeting with high-ranking officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran, chief executive considered death of Ali Akbar Hashimi Rafsanjani as big loss for the people and government of Iran and praised Mr. Rafsanjani for his works during his presidency and later for improvement of good and friendly relations with Afghanistan.
Dr. Abdullah has been accompanied by second vice president Sarwar Danesh, chief executive second deputy Haji Mohammad Muhaqiq, foreign affairs minister Salahuddin Rabbani and a number cabinet members.
 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Kabul (BNA) President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani expressed his sincere condolences on the martyrdom of a number of Emiratis who were killed in a terrorist attack in Kandahar, Afghanistan, while overseeing humanitarian, developmental and educational projects.
He wished a speedy recovery for those injured in the attack, a statement from the presidential press office said.
Treacherous terrorist acts cannot undermine the resolve and determination of the UAE, led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to continue to promote goodness, create hope and extend a helping hand to states and people in need, stressed His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. He made the statement here the other day in a phone call with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.
The duo stressed the importance of doubling international efforts to counter terrorism and extremist organizations jeopardizing international security and peace, and seeking to undermine the stability of countries and development and construction efforts in these countries while killing innocent people.
"The forces of evil behind this cowardly terrorist attack wish that the journey of construction, development and goodness would not make progress in Afghanistan and would not like to see joy, smiles and a bright life for the Afghan people. But with God’s help, we will continue to carry out humanitarian and development projects and will always be determined to spread hope, optimism and philanthropy everywhere we have presence. This is our firm approach and our unwavering belief that we commit ourselves to," the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince said.
"Great achievements and sacrifices made by Emiratis are a source of strong will and determination to defeat the forces of darkness and uproot the sources of evil," His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said.
The Abu Dhabi Crown Prince thanked President Ghani for his noble sentiments.
 

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