11 July 2020

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Wednesday June 3, 2020
Kabul (BNA) President Ashraf Ghani in a virtual discussion with Stefano Pontecorvo, the newly-appointed NATO Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan talked over the Afghan government’s paramount priorities mainly peace process, fighting covid-19 pandemic, further strengthening of Afghanistan Defense and Security forces, reforms and humanitarian assistance.
According to BNA report, President Ghani extended congratulations to Mr. Stefano Pontecorvo on beginning his mission as the NATO senior civilian representative to Afghanistan.
The NATO civilian representative expressed happiness over assuming his new responsibility and said NATO would stand with the people and government of Afghanistan as a steadfast partner and consistent supporter of a stable Afghanistan.

Wednesday June 3, 2020
Kabul (BNA) President Ashraf Ghani in a videoconference with the World Bank delegation led by Henry Kerali yesterday evening discussed the bank’s commitments and assistances to Afghanistan, BNA reported.
President Ghani lauded the World Bank for its support and effective assistance for Afghanistan at this critical juncture and said the government of Afghanistan is working on a comprehensive national program to slow down the pandemic spread and minimize its negative effects.
First Vice President Amrullah Saleh presented his comprehensive analysis and review on the current status of the contagion spread across the country.
The first vice-president added the statistics by the Ministry of Public Health and other volunteer groups and individuals indicate that Afghanistan is approaching the adversity phase of the pandemic as the curve of corona infections is rising.
He stressed the government will put any measure in place to slow down the spread of the contagion and contain it.
World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan Henry Kerali assured the president of the bank’s support for the government’s significant programs, with a goal to mitigate the negative impacts and fallout caused by the covid-19 spread, particularly to address the needs of the destitute and vulnerable classes of the Afghan society.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Kabul (BNA) President Ghani spoke over the phone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Monday. Iranian President promised his government would continue providing free coronavirus treatment to Afghan migrants in his country. In a telephone call with President Ghani, his Iranian counterpart said:
"Providing health services to Afghan brothers in fighting the coronavirus will continue ". Iranian media outlets quoted him as saying the policy of his country was to forge fraternal and friendly relations and cooperation with all neighbors, especially Afghanistan.
"We consider stability and security our own stability and security and believe disagreements among groups can be resolved and we always stand by the Afghan government and people in doing so,” he remarked. Rouhani greeted President Ghani on his new term in office and expressed satisfaction with the political agreement between him and Dr. Abdullah. With efforts of all Afghan government institutions including the High Council for National Reconciliation, he hoped, peace and security would return to Afghanistan, the Iranian leader hoped.
He called for accelerating the implementation of joint projects, including the Khaf-Herat railway line.
He called the scheme as the most important economic project between the two countries. With the completion of the Chabahar-Zahedan railway project, transportation of goods in the region would see positive transformation in the years to come, he believed. President Ghani wished the Iranian government and people success in fighting the coronavirus, and praised assistance and medical services provided to the Afghans in the neighboring country.
He called on Iran to support the peace and dialogue process in Afghanistan. President Ghani hoped cooperation between the two countries would grow as a result of efforts by both sides.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Kabul (BNA) Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo of Italy assumed his role as the NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan on Monday, the alliance said. “Ambassador Pontecorvo brings a long-standing diplomatic experience, including on Afghanistan and the broad regional context.
I look forward to working closely with him at this critical juncture for Afghanistan’s future," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said. Working with the NATO-ledResolute Support mission which trains, advises and assists the Afghan security forces and institutions, Pontecorvo will advise the NATO Secretary General and the North Atlantic Council on the Alliance’s efforts in Afghanistan and relations with Afghan partners.
He will liaise with senior members of the Afghan government, Afghan officials and other prominent national and local officials.
He will engage with representatives of the international community, Afghan civil society and non-governmental organizations, NATO said. Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo previously served as Italy’s Ambassador to Pakistan for more than four years. In 2013-2015, he was the Diplomatic Adviser to the Italian Defense Minister, working on NATO political-military issues, including on Afghanistan, where Italy is one of the framework nations of the Resolute Support Mission. His previous posts included that of Deputy Head of Mission at the Italian Embassies in London and Moscow.
Pontecorvo replaces Ambassador Sir Nicholas Kay of the United Kingdom, who had been in the post since March 2019. “I thank our outgoing Senior Civilian Representative Ambassador Sir Nicholas Kay for his outstanding service and his contributions to the cause of peace and security for all Afghans,” Stoltenberg said.


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