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Saleh maps out reasons for and accomplishments of US trip

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(Last Updated On: June 27, 2021)

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his entourage returned to the country Saturday evening after a two-day official visit to Washington DC.

During his visit to the US Ghani had meetings with US President Joe Biden and other high-ranking US officials. He also met with some families of US soldiers killed in the war in Afghanistan.

First Vice President Amrullah Saleh, who accompanied Ghani, said on Sunday that as the US military presence concludes in the country: “We needed to align our strategies on leading & managing the new chapter in our relations [with the US].”

Saleh said the main purpose of Ghani’s visit to the US was as follow:

1: To strengthen relations after the withdrawal of US troops and clarify the scope of bilateral cooperation.

2: Discuss and focus on ways to implement and effectively use US defense security assistance – development and humanitarian.

3: Explain the complexities of the peace and negotiation process from the perspective of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

4: To put emphasis on the principled and legal strategy of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in defending its territory and sovereignty.

5: As a symbol of unity and unity of the government and the nation of Afghanistan.

6: Explain the role of the region in Afghanistan post-withdrawal.

7: To show respect for the US Government’s decision to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.

8: Leaders of both powerful US parties, one now in power and the other in opposition, welcomed the Afghan delegation and reiterated their continued support.

9: US President Joe Biden said that the people of Afghanistan should know that he is a friend of Afghanistan in the White House and that the narrative of escaping from their obligations is baseless and wrong.

Saleh also said that on the sidelines of this trip, away from cameras and recorders, the Afghan delegation had a “detailed meeting with a group of Afghan friends, including former ambassadors – former military – development and economics officials – theorists who were now out of government but once held senior leadership positions”.

In conclusion, Saleh said: “We also talked to the American strategizing community. This is part of the hidden system. There was a very long and encouraging consensus. They stressed that as friends of Afghanistan, they would work together to strengthen post-withdrawal relations and use their influence on all parts of the US system to nullify the dream of seizing power by force and bring the Taliban and Taliban supporters back to the negotiation table.”

Saleh also said the visit to the US was “one of the most accomplished trips in the history of foreign travels”.

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Baradar meets with Bayat chairman to discuss continued investment in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: June 26, 2022)

The deputy prime minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) for economic affairs, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, met with Dr Ehsanollah Bayat, the chairman of the Bayat Group and its subsidiary the Bayat Foundation, this weekend to discuss the company’s future plans regarding ongoing investment in the country.

The Bayat Group is Afghanistan’s largest private diversified services company, comprising telecoms, media, energy, technology and other enterprises, while the Bayat Foundation provides life saving aid to Afghans in times of need as well as health services.

In their meeting Saturday, Baradar and Dr Bayat discussed investment possibilities in a number of sectors.

According to Baradar’s office, Dr Bayat said he was ready to invest in Afghanistan in the health, electricity and telecommunications sectors.

In a series of tweets, Baradar’s office noted that the deputy prime minister told Dr Bayat in the meeting: “We appreciate and support all the efforts of businessmen and investors in the economic reconstruction of the country.”

He added: “Anyone who invests in Afghanistan and provides job opportunities for the people, we will support him and assure them of their security in the country.”

Baradar also thanked Dr Bayat for the services being provided by the Bayat Group and by the Bayat Foundation.

From 4G LTE communications to electric power, broadcasting, high speed internet, construction and mobile money, The Bayat Group builds market-leading enterprises that provide Afghans with innovative and popular products and services.

A champion of Afghan-based economic development, The Bayat Group provides employment to more than 10,000 Afghans through its direct operations and employs more than 100,000 other Afghan citizens through its ecosystem of dealers and vendors.

The foundation, which was started in 2006, has meanwhile helped rebuild Afghanistan as well as deliver hope and support to the neediest and most at-risk Afghans.

Involved in building mosques, and in the health care and education sectors, the foundation also answers to calls following natural disasters and times of human suffering.

A key example of the type of assistance provided by the Bayat Foundation was in the aftermath of last week’s earthquake in Paktika and Khost provinces.

Within hours of Wednesday’s quake, the foundation had dispatched not only essential relief including shelter, blankets and food, but also a team of doctors and a mobile clinic with life saving medicines to treat the injured.

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China pledges over $7 million in aid for quake victims

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(Last Updated On: June 26, 2022)

China’s ambassador to Kabul Wang Yu met with Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and said his country would provide emergency aid worth 50 million Yuan ($7.5 million) for victims of last week’s earthquake. 

At a meeting on Saturday in Kabul, Wang also said that MCC Mes Aynak copper mining contractor would provide $200,000 in aid. 

Wang said on Twitter: “Chinese enterprises will definitely fulfill their social responsibilities. The friendship between 2 countries and peoples will be further strengthened.”

Muttaqi thanked the Chinese government and people for the timely assistance and assured Wang that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) authorities would distribute the aid promptly, fairly and transparently, state-run Bakhtar news agency reported. 

Aid provided by China will include tents, sheets, fold up beds, and other items urgently needed by the Afghan people. The first batch of aid is scheduled to arrive by charter flight on Monday, Bakhtar reported.

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Thousands of earthquake victims in need of water and food, at risk of disease

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(Last Updated On: June 26, 2022)

Thousands affected by a deadly earthquake in eastern Afghanistan are in need of clean water and food and are at risk of disease, an Afghan Health Ministry official said on Sunday days after a United Nations agency warned of a cholera outbreak in the region.

At least 1,000 people were killed, 2,000 injured and 10,000 homes destroyed in last Wednesday’s earthquake, after which the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned that cholera outbreaks in the aftermath are of particular and serious concern.

“The people are extremely needy for food and clean water,” Afghanistan Health Ministry spokesperson Sharafat Zaman told Reuters, adding that officials had managed medicines for now but handling those who had lost their homes would be a challenge.

“We ask the international community, humanitarian organizations to help us for food and medicine, the survivor might catch diseases because they don’t have proper houses and shelters for living,” he said.

The UN and several countries have rushed aid to the affected areas, with more due to arrive over the coming days.

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