23 May 2017

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Kabul (BNA) NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg phoned President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani late on Monday to express his sympathy over the recent terrorist attack on Shaheen 209 Corps in Balkh province, the President Press Office said in a statement.
During the telephone conversation, Stoltenberg assured President Ghani of NATO’s continued support in war on terror, according to the statement.
For his part, President Ghani thanked NATO secretary general for his sympathy and continued support to Afghanistan, the statement added.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Kabul (BNA) Afghanistan authorities have made headway in their fight against corruption while enormous challenges remain, finds a new United Nations report released yesterday.
“For the sake of the country’s future, corruption in Afghanistan must be addressed and eliminated,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-Generals’ Special Representative for Afghanistan.” The United Nations welcomes the progress already made, and fully supports the government’s ongoing efforts to fight corruption in the interest of ending impunity, ensuring accountability and transparency, and restoring integrity to the management of public services, finances and natural resources.”
In the report, titled’ Afghanistan’s Fight Against Corruption:  The Other Battlefield,’ the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) highlights the progress the country has made in addressing corruption and draws on internationally recognized best practices to provide recommendations for how the government, with the continued support of the public and the international community, can build on those achievements.
“It is my sincere hope that the progress made so far in the fight against corruption and the recommendations contained in our report will serve as a platform to achieve greater policy coherence and coordination in Afghanistan,” said the UN envoy, who is also head of UNAMA.
The report, which was circulated to Afghan ministries and the judiciary for input and endorsement prior to release, points out that corruption has affected all aspects of life in Afghanistan, undermining public trust  and confidence in government institutions, and hindering efforts to bring lasting peace and prosperity to the country.
A key component of Afghanistan’s fight against corruption is the dedicated Anti-Corruption Justice Centre (ACJC), with dedicated police and prosecution units, and a new national primary and appeals court, established by Presidential Decree to operate with jurisdiction over the broad range of corruption offences specified in the current penal code, as well as money laundering offences, destruction or selling of cultural and historical relics, crimes against internal and external security, illegal extraction of mines, and land usurpation.
In addition to outlining the advances made by the ACJC, which is actively investigating, prosecuting adjudicating cases, the report indicates that Afghanistan is showing progress in restoring institutional control over the delivery of essential public services and management of public finances.  The report makes several recommendations, recognizing that the government’s ongoing anti-corruption efforts have yet to impact the lives of most Afghans, and concludes that , notwithstanding the many legal and policy reforms that have been undertaken, corruption remains a substantial obstacle to Afghanistan’s long-term peace and prosperity.
“The report serves as a stark reminder that the fight against corruption cannot be won in the short term, and that the battle requires the sustained commitment on the part of the government and the general public, and full support from the international community,” said Yamamoto.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Kabul (BNA)   Chief Executive, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah met with British ambassador to Kabul at his office on Tuesday, his office said in a statement.
In the meeting, expressing condolences and sympathies to the CE and people of Afghanistan over the deadly attack on Shaheen 209 Corps, the British ambassador said his country would stand by the people and government of Afghanistan in such a trying circumstances, according to the statement.
The British ambassador to Kabul also spoke about fighting corruption, the European Union efforts in this regard as well as using modern technology in the elections and appreciated the government efforts and achievements in the respect. He also asked for further attention on elections process. The statement added.
Thanking British cooperation and sacrifices in Afghanistan, Dr. Abdullah expressed gratitude over the ambassador and Britain’s sympathy, the statement continued.
Both sides also exchanged views on recent political-military changes, bilateral relations between the two countries and Afghanistan’s regional relations.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Kabul (BNA) President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani received the Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull and a high-ranking delegation, his office said in a statement.
Both sides talked over the expansion of bilateral ties and Australian assistances with Afghanistan in a meeting in the Presidential Palace, according to the statement.
The Prime Minister of Australia expressed his condolences and sympathies to the President and people of Afghanistan over the latest terrorist attack on 209 Shaheen military corps, the statement added.
Mr. Turnbull said that he was interested in maintaining relations between Australian and Afghan universities in order to encourage bilateral cooperation in the areas of mines, water management, project management, program management and health services. He promised that he will follow these issues upon his return to Australia, the statement continued.
President Ghani, in his turn, described Australia as a historical friend of Afghanistan. The President thanked Australia for its assistance and cooperation with Afghanistan in different areas. Afghanistan and Australia have excellent and friendly relations. President Ghani recently visited Australia where agreements in the areas of technical and scientific cooperation were signed. Also, a MoU worth $320mln was signed by both countries in accordance with commitments of Brussels Conference, during this visit. According to another report, Chief Executive, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah also met Australian Prime Minister at the Sapidar Palace, during which both sides discussed different issues, his office said in a statement. In the meeting Dr. Abdullah briefed the Australian PM about the preparations taken for holding parliamentary elections, the statement added. CE Abdullah also stressed that the past mistakes in election process should not be repeated and much should be done to prevent frauds, the statement quoted the CE as saying.

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