21 April 2019

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Saturday, April 06, 2019

Kabul (BNA) Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah on Thursday attended a ceremony commemorating the international day for mines awareness here in Kabul, a statement from the CE press office said.
According to the statement, addressing the ceremony, the State Minister for Natural Disaster Management Najib Aqa Fahim expressed concern that 1,700 square kilometers of land remained littered with landmines in Afghanistan, adding 120 people were killed or wounded in landmine explosions every month.
Fahim said that 3,100 square kilometers of the country’s soil had been cleared of landmines and more than 19 million landmines defused.  He said government’s inattention to increasing landmines clearance budget and negligence of the international community in this regard had troubled the clearing process.
He asked the national unity government leaders to allocate an amount of money from domestic sources for launching the landmine clearing process so donor countries would also find an interest to support the drive.
Fahim said, “Foreign forces who planted explosives around their bases also left without removing the devices.”  The slogan” Afghanistan would be free of landmines until 2023” would not turn into a reality if the government and donor countries did not pay attention to the issue, he added.
Toby Lanzer, UN Secretary General Deputy special representative in Afghanistan, talking about the UN support to landmine clearance campaign in Afghanistan, said they were making all efforts to make Afghanistan free of landmines.
Based on the new law, clearing landmines are the responsibility of the warring sides and they would remove landmines and no longer use them in future for the protection of Afghanistan citizens, he said.
Jim De Hart, assistant US envoy to Afghanistan, said Afghanistan was the country which had the highest number of buried landmines. “Exploding landmines affects the society, economy and security of a country besides causing human losses,” he said.
“We have supported the landmines clearing process besides other cooperation to Afghanistan over the last 17 years, we will also encourage donors in future to help make Afghanistan landmines-free,” he said.
Meanwhile delivering his remarks, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, pointing to more than 100 casualties caused by landmines every month, said the high rate of landmine casualties showed the harshness of war in Afghanistan. “Contamination of 1,700 square kilometers of the country’s soil with landmines is one of our great challenges, we must and definitely would use internal resources for dealing with this issue,” he said.
CE Abdullah said security officials would be ordered to clear landmines and explosive devices in their areas.

Saturday, April 06, 2019
Kabul (BNA) The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad on Thursday warned Pakistan to change its policy towards Afghanistan, otherwise, “Islamabad and Washington’s ties will not improve.”
Khalilzad made the remarks while talking to a number of youths from Bamyan, Jawzjan and Parwan provinces in a video conference.
The US envoy said that in addition to a possible peace agreement, an agreement should be reached between Afghanistan and Pakistan based on which Pakistan should play a constructive role in Afghanistan.
“We support this and are seeking that an agreement should be reached between Afghanistan and Pakistan that can result in peace and (can stop_ the interferences Pakistan has made in Afghanistan and I have been a witness of their (Pakistanis’) negative activities,” Khalilzad said. “Since I have taken on the role, I have encouraged them to play a more positive role, because if they want to improve their tikes with the US, their policy toward Afghan-US aviation giant, Boeing, has vowed to implement further measures to ensure the safety of its airliners following last month’s deadly crash in Ethiopia, which occurred less than five months after another crash in Indonesia.
“We will carefully review the preliminary report and will take any and all additional steps necessary to enhance the safety of our aircraft,” Kevin MeAllister, head of Boeing’s commercial aircraft division, said in a statement on Thursday.  The statement came hours after Ethiopian investigators said the pilots of a doomed Boeing 737 MAX 8 had repeatedly followed Boeing’s recommended procedures prior to crashing on March 10, which killed 157 people.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Kabul (BNA) President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani met with board chairman of Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) the other day at presidential palace.
In the meeting, President Ghani praised the committee for its activities in education, healthcare, delivering service individuals with disabilities and empowerment of women during the past long years.
Meanwhile, both sides discussed Afghanistan peace process and considered that maintaining lasting peace in the country was in the interest for both Afghanistan and the region.

Saturday, April 06, 2019
Kabul (BNA) Two separate memorandums of understandings were signed between acting minister of information and culture Hasina Safi and Belarusian non-resident ambassador Oleg Invanov the other day to increase cooperation in culture and information sections.
The memorandums of understanding were signed in a ceremony attended also by a high-ranking Belarusian delegation led by the country’s minister of industry visiting Kabul for discussion regarding economic and trade relations between the two countries and signing agreement in this regard.

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