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Pompeo urges Afghans to write a new, peaceful chapter of history

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(Last Updated On: September 12, 2020)

Addressing all parties to the peace talks in Doha Saturday morning, the United States’ Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a no-nonsense speech advising both parties to overcome their divisions and reach agreement on a peaceful future for the benefit of all Afghans.

He said Saturday’s event was a truly momentous occasion – one where Afghans “have at long last chosen to sit together and chart a new course” for their country. 

He said he hoped each person present would look inside their hearts as each carries a great responsibility and that the entire world wants them to succeed and is counting on them to succeed. 

He made it clear that the world was aware that the parties to the war want to determine their own affairs. “It’s why you all are here. Free from outside interference.”

He also stated that the world was aware of the “tremendously negative and divisive impact that four decades of violence have had on Afghanistan and on the Afghan people.”

“Through an inclusive negotiation process, you each – you each have an opportunity.  You have an opportunity to overcome your divisions and reach agreement on a peaceful future for the benefit of all Afghans, and if – if Afghans embrace their common interest in a united Afghanistan while respecting the rich diversity of the country’s people, we believe with all our hearts that a durable peace is, in fact, possible,” he said. 

On the future political system, he said it was up to Afghans to make that choice. “In the United States, we’ve found that democracy – notably the principle of peaceful resolution and rotation of political power – works best.”

“This model – this model has yielded great peace and prosperity for us and for other democratic nations,” he said, adding that although there is a “no one size fits all” solution, the United States doesn’t seek to impose its system on others.  

“We believe firmly that protecting the rights of all Afghans is indeed the best way for you to break the cycle of violence,” he said. 

He told the delegates that they will be writing the next chapter in Afghan history and that the US hopes “this chapter is one of reconciliation and progress, not another chronicle of tears and bloodshed.”

Once the official opening ceremony was over, Pompeo met Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah and acting foreign minister Haneef Atmar.

After their meeting, Abdullah said he welcomed their meeting and had thanked the US and Pompeo for supporting the Afghan peace process and for attending Saturday’s ceremony.

“We reiterated our call for an end to violence & for successful negotiations leading to a permanent & sustainable peace,” Abdullah said.

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Health officials and experts meet in Kabul over spread of lumpy skin disease

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(Last Updated On: August 10, 2022)

A seminar was held in Kabul on Tuesday to discuss the ongoing spread of lumpy skin disease (LSD) in livestock in Afghanistan.

Experts from Kabul University, along with representatives of the Ministries of Public Health, Agriculture and Livestock and municipalities met Tuesday to discuss the dangers of this virus.

Delegates attending the seminar pointed out the need to prevent the spread of the disease in the country.

According to health officials, this virus is transmitted by some species of mosquitoes, ticks and other blood-feeding insects but is not transmitted to humans.

“This virus has spread from eastern and southeastern provinces such as Laghman, Nangarhar and Kunar, but currently, this virus does not have a vaccine, and fortunately, this disease does not transmit to humans,” said Shirshah Sadat, dean of Kabul University’s Faculty of Veterinary Sciences.

Nasir Ahmad, the representative of the Ministry of Public Health also said: “This virus is problematic for food health, especially for people suffering from malnutrition.”

“This virus is transmitted from one animal to another by mosquitoes and flies and the source of its transmission should be eliminated, and quarantine and vaccines are said to be good ways to fight this disease,” said Asadullah Samadi, a university professor.

The representative of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock said that a campaign to curb the spread of this virus will be launched in cooperation with international organizations in all provinces in the near future.

The virus has in recent years been detected in Kunar, Nangarhar, Laghman and southeastern provinces of Paktia, Paktika, Khost, Logar and Ghazni.

The disease was endemic in many African countries for years, but spread to other parts of the world over the years. The disease first appeared in South Asia in July 2019, with Bangladesh reporting an outbreak. A month later, it was identified in India – which has the world’s largest bovine population – and then in China.

The infection is caused by the Capripox virus – which is genetically similar to the viruses that cause goat pox and sheep pox – and has been termed “an emerging threat to livestock worldwide” by health experts.

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Two IEA forces and 4 Daesh fighters killed in Kabul clash 

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(Last Updated On: August 4, 2022)

Four Daesh militants were killed and a fifth was arrested in an operation in Kabul on Wednesday. 

According to Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), forces had conducted a raid on an “important nest of the enemy” in Karte-e-Sakhi area in PD3. 

The operation was launched at about 11.30am but a shootout between IEA and Daesh militants broke out, which lasted several hours. The situation was eventually brought under control and a cache of weapons and ammunition was recovered. 

Mujahid said in a series of tweets that the Daesh cell had been planning to attack Shiites in the Kart-e-Sakhi area during the upcoming Muharram. 

Meanwhile, the ministry of interior said in a statement that two security personnel, including a policewoman, were killed in the standoff and four IEA soldiers were wounded. 

 

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Iranian energy ministry delegation to visit Kabul over water rights

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(Last Updated On: July 29, 2022)

Iran is reportedly sending a delegation from the ministry of energy affairs to Afghanistan to discuss their water share rights regarding the Helmand River.

According to Iran’s IRNA news agency, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian told Afghanistan’s acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in a phone conversation that he is dispatching the delegation in the near future in order to resolve issues around water.

IRNA reported that Amirabdollahian raised the issue of recent heavy rainfall in Afghanistan and expressed hope that the “artificially created obstacles” in the way of the flow of water towards Iran will be eliminated and Iran will receive its water share from the Helmand River.

Amirabdollahian also reportedly told Muttaqi that receiving their share of water will be an important index for Kabul in terms of showing how committed the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) is about meeting “their international commitments”, IRNA reported.

Amirabdollahian said the people of Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan and their representatives in Parliament are seriously demanding their share of water and that unless the issue is resolved quickly, “it will affect the other issues in bilateral cooperation negatively”, IRNA reported.

According to IRNA, Muttaqi in turn welcomed the delegation’s upcoming visit and said Afghanistan is committed to giving Iran their share of water from the Helmand River, which flows into the country.

Amirabdollahian said that a joint team of technicians will survey the river’s path and ensure both countries benefit from the water.

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