TOLOnews.com RSS Feed http://tolonews.com/ Sat, 05 Sep 2015 03:31:43 GMT FeedCreator 1.8.0-dev (info@mypapit.net) Oqaban Defeats Amu 1-0 http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21237-oqaban-defeats-amu-1-0 RAPL-04-sep-2015

Oqaban Hindukush beat Mawjhai Amu 1-0 in their Roshan Afghan Premier League match on Friday.

The match was held at Afghanistan Football Federation Stadium (AFF) on Friday.

The two teams tried hard to score a goal during the match but both teams lost several chances.

However, Oqaban Hindukush proved the stronger of the two and had more chances at goal. One of them was created by Zmarai Salangi which hit the top of the goal post and was defended by Amu's goalkeeper.

The only goal in the match was scored by Basir Habir in the 86th minute.

Basir Habir was announced as man of the match.

The third week of the league will kick off next Wednesday with a match between Simorgh Alborz and De Maiwand Atalan football clubs.

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Fri, 04 Sep 2015 15:53:27 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21237-oqaban-defeats-amu-1-0
TOLOnews 6pm News 04 September 2015 http://www.tolonews.com/en/6pm-news-bulletin/21236-tolonews-6pm-news-04-september-2015 NATAQ-4septTop news in this Bulletin:

Afghanistan's CEO Abdullah Abdullah on Friday afternoon officially closed the 6th Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA-VI) following the two-day summit in Kabul that was attended by high-ranking officials and dignitaries from 30 countries. During the course of the day, numerous governments pledged their support to Afghanistan and concurred that a stable Afghanistan would benefit the entire region.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

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 Kabul residents and Afghan economists on Friday praised the national security forces for having provided a secure environment for government to host the 6th Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA-VI) that was held over two days in the capital. High-ranking government officials from 30 countries and representatives from at least 40 international organizations converged on the city for the landmark summit.

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Fri, 04 Sep 2015 14:51:13 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/6pm-news-bulletin/21236-tolonews-6pm-news-04-september-2015
Public Praises Security Forces For Keeping Kabul Safe http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21235-public-praises-security-forces-for-keeping-kabul-safe kabul-4-septemebr

Kabul residents and Afghan economists on Friday praised the national security forces for having provided a secure environment for government to host the 6th Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA-VI) that was held over two days in the capital.

High-ranking government officials from 30 countries and representatives from at least 40 international organizations converged on the city for the landmark summit.

Despite the closure of numerous roads in Kabul, all efforts by government were carried out in a safe environment for both local residents and visitors.

However, analysts and residents alike said that if security could be stepped up to such a degree for Thursday and Friday's summit, then surely security measures of this sort could and should be the norm.

"We would be happy if the security is maintained in our city as it is today so that people do not live in fear and chaos," a resident in Kabul told TOLOnews on Friday.

This was in line with the common thread that emerged from the RECCA summit, that a stable Afghanistan would not only benefit the entire region but it would also bolster investment, development and tourism, which would pave the way for a strong and resilient economy.

"This {RECCA} summit conveys a positive message and nourishes hope that SOM will also be conducted in good manner so that we can convey a positive message," an Afghan businesswoman Najla Habib said.

One lawmaker in turn said that no one can deny the ability of the Afghan security forces, who have proven their ability to provide a safe environment during such occasions. However, he said that this should become the norm and that security of this nature should be carried through to other cities as well.

"The security organs should abide by their responsibilities and realize that the people of Afghanistan are proud of them, therefore they {security forces} must work hard to maintain this," MP Sayed Ekram said.

The RECCA summit itself has however given a number of Kabul residents renewed hope as many said they viewed the meeting in a positive light and believe that this conference will go a long way in building trust within the region.

The public sees regional cooperation as imperative for sustainable development in Afghanistan and in order to help fight insurgency.

"Our government must use the opportunity and with the assistance from the world economy we will ensure that Afghanistan is noteworthy," said one Kabul resident Rozatullah Badakhshan.

A Kandahar resident, Mohammad, said: "We Afghans have lots of economic problems and the international community must help us and the regional countries must take part in the reconstruction of Afghanistan."

"This is a good opportunity and our government must take advantage of the opportunity," said Sarajuddin a Balkh resident.

But people said that in working towards securing the cities, provincial residents and villagers must not be forgotten about. They said that their financial difficulties also need to be addressed, as did their security challenges. In line with this, one Baghlan resident called on government to make a concerted effort to fight poverty and unemployment.

"The RECCA meeting is a meeting for the entire country's economy and if we use the opportunity properly it could be full of achievement for us," said Amal Omari from Baghlan.

"The government must take maximum advantage of the meeting so as to prevent young people from leaving the country because of unemployment," said Sabor a Parwan resident.

But many Afghans welcomed decisions and pledges of support made at the summit and said that hopefully the National Unity Government (NUG) will follow through on decisions taken.

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Fri, 04 Sep 2015 14:18:16 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21235-public-praises-security-forces-for-keeping-kabul-safe
RECCA Moves Into New Era, Truly Regional: Abdullah http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21234-recca-moves-into-new-era-truly-regional-abdullah abdullah-recca-4se

Afghanistan's CEO Abdullah Abdullah on Friday afternoon officially closed the 6th Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA-VI) following the two-day summit in Kabul that was attended by high-ranking officials and dignitaries from 30 countries.

During the course of the day, numerous governments pledged their support to Afghanistan and concurred that a stable Afghanistan would benefit the entire region.

In his closing remarks, Abdullah said that the past two days had been extremely busy for delegates and that "much territory has been covered and discussed, and we have together come to some important conclusions about the way forward".

"I take this opportunity to thank all regional partners and other stakeholders, and express my sincere appreciation for your input and valuable contributions," he said.

"I can say with confidence that RECCA has moved into a new era. This forum is now truly regional in its perspective, and pragmatic in its approach to economic cooperation and regional economic integration."

He said that in using modern analytical tools backed by empirical data collection and up-to-date information, it was easier to undertake feasibility studies, research and evaluations on bankable small-to-large scale infrastructure projects.

He also used the opportunity to thank Turkmenistan for offering to host the next round of RECCA scheduled for 2017.

"As the visit of Turkmenistan's President to Kabul a few days ago demonstrated, important initiatives to modernize and expand projects in the transport, energy and trade sectors are underway in our region - stretching from Russia and Kazakhstan to Turkey and the Persian Gulf region on one side, and to China and India on the other."

He said this demonstrates that we Afghanistan is positively impacted by the ongoing infrastructural revolution, the opening of new corridors and the creation of new opportunities and livelihoods for millions of its people.

"As our greater region undergoes change, we see the re-emergence of multiple new Silk Roads. We are eager to see them complement each other, leading to land and maritime connectivities that benefits all stakeholders," he said adding that there is no doubt that regional connectivity will be increasing with the finalization of the Lapis Lazuli and Five Nation Railway corridors.

However, he emphasized that the key to getting projects off the ground is through partnerships – public, private and a combination of both, in the context of bilateral, multi-lateral and regional cooperation.

He said the technical feasibility and financial viability of these projects will continue to be assessed to assure bankability, best practice, accountability and fair market value.

On the subject of the CASA-1000 energy project, he said this will add to Afghanistan's power capacity and be an example of win-win regional cooperation.

Although some of the larger projects that are listed are of longer-term significance, and will be dealt with in due time, the projects that were presented at this conference are deemed feasible, he said.

He said Afghanistan has committed to take advantage of the emerging geo-economic environment, in order to seize the opportunities available.

"As the RECCA process has highlighted, the selected projects are proposed strategically, in order to facilitate activity, energize the pathways and reduce the bottlenecks on these emerging trade and transit corridors," he said.

"It is in this spirit, that Afghanistan's National Unity Government welcomes the ongoing realization of five economic corridors in our region. They each have the potential to unlock our regional economic capacities at a time when volatility is becoming a cyclical norm as demonstrated by currency fluctuations, stock market instability and commodity price vacillation," he said.

"Some of our partners come from the public sector; some come from the private sector. Both are crucial. Furthermore, governments – as in donors - and international financial institutions can play an important role in providing seed capital for viable project kickoff, easing the risk factor for private investors," he added.

Abdullah said that the key to this process in moving forward is the launch of the RECCA Implementation Phase. "We welcome stakeholders, partners and investors to work with us hand-in-hand during this critical phase."

He said that as per the Economic Impact Analyses presented at the conference, there is real incentive and tangible economic benefit for all regional partners of South and Central Asia to engage in increased trade, transit, transport, energy transfer and investment along the new pathways being developed.

"Afghanistan stands at the crossroads, as part of the roundabout, as a key hub and a land-bridge for the realization of our collective interconnectivity," he said.

He said Afghanistan was working on eliminating the threats posed to security and stability in the form of terrorism, radicalism and narcotics. "We are very much a victim of these scourges and appreciate the international effort to combat these threats."

But he said the country needs more robust measures to tackle terrorism in all its traditional and newer forms. "It is not sufficient to engage in talk and promises, but fail to deliver in deed and action."

"We are paying a high price, but we are united in our aim to address these menaces in all its forms. We need your cooperation, as you need ours, to bolster our defenses and protect our people, and the well-being of our social, political and economic institutions," he said.

In conclusion, he said: "As we deal with a diverse set of challenges, this conference has proven to us once again that the opportunities and potential for growth and prosperity at the regional level are real and attainable. The work has already started, and Afghanistan is ready to play its role in the larger context."

"You have spent several years and worked hard within the RECCA framework laying down a solid foundation. Let us now go forward, united behind the vision of our joint Chairmen Statement. Let us bring projects to life to help in the growth of our regional corridors; and let us partner on this road until we bring to the peoples and nations of our greater region the stability and prosperity they so much deserve."

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Fri, 04 Sep 2015 12:37:22 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21234-recca-moves-into-new-era-truly-regional-abdullah
Freed Policeman Says Govt Ignored Baghlan Siege http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21233-freed-policeman-says-govt-ignored-baghlan-siege-

A local police commander, Abdul Rahim, from the Pastak military base in Dahane Ghore district in Baghlan province on Friday criticized government for not having come to their rescue after his unit came under siege for seven days by the Taliban.

Rahim said the Taliban held their base under siege for seven days. He said his unit eventually ran out of food and water and had nothing to eat for four days. They were also not able to bury their fellow officers who had died during the gun battle.

He said that all they had to eat in that time was rotten bread. According to him it was only after tribal elders stepped in and mediated their release that they were freed.

"We were under Taliban siege for seven days and many times we contacted with the provincial police chief but no one delivered supplies to us. We didn't even have water or bread, also no weapons," Rahim said.

In addition, a relative of one of the dead officers said the Taliban had made them leave the body on the base for four days. The relative, Abdul Bahari Musaddiq said that the government failed to help release the bodies of the deceased so they could be buried.

"My cousin's son who was in the Taliban's siege was killed at the base and for four days his dead body was left in the base. We visited the provincial police chief many times to ask to transfer our dead bodies but the police chief was not able to bring our dead bodies and in the end only mediation by the elders secured the bodies," said Abdul Bahari Musaddiq one of the soldiers' relatives.

After the incident many questionswere raised – especially about the lack of supplies being delivered. Local police said Baghlan security officials will have to answer these questions.

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Fri, 04 Sep 2015 11:10:27 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21233-freed-policeman-says-govt-ignored-baghlan-siege-
Canada Denies Turning Away Drowned Syrian Boy's Family http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21232-canada-denies-turning-away-drowned-syrian-boys-family

Canada on Thursday denied it had received an asylum request from the family of a Syrian toddler turned symbol of Europe's migrant crisis after his little body washed up on a Turkish beach.

Identified as three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, the boy was among 12 migrants who died trying to reach Greece when their boats sank in Turkish waters.

The Ottawa Citizen reported that the child's family had tried in vain to join relatives in Canada -- where the government has come under fire for failing to take in more Syrian refugees.

But that was denied by the immigration ministry -- and by the boy's aunt, the source of the media report, who has since clarified her comments.

"There was no record of an application received for Mr. Abdullah Kurdi (the toddler's father) and his family," said a ministry statement. It said an application had been received for Abdullah's brother Mohammed, but "was returned as it was incomplete."

"Canada did not offer citizenship to Mr Abdullah Kurdi," which was also reported, the ministry said.

The bleak image of the lifeless toddler -- one of the four million people driven from their homes by Syria's conflict -- has gone viral since Wednesday. The boy's father is the only survivor in the family of four.

The Ottawa Citizen had cited the boy's aunt Teema Kurdi, who lives in Vancouver, as saying Aylan's family was the "subject of a 'G5' privately sponsored refugee application" that was rejected by Canada's immigration authorities in June.

"I was trying to sponsor them and I have my friends and my neighbors who helped me with the bank deposits, but we couldn't get them out, and that is why they went in the boat," the newspaper quoted her as saying.

"I was even paying rent for them in Turkey, but it is horrible the way they treat Syrians there."

Teema later told a press conference that she had not filled out an application for Abdullah and his family. She said she had sought to gain entry to Canada for the brother Mohammed, who is now in Germany.

- Let one son go to save other -

Reports said the child's family had fled to Turkey last year from the Syrian flashpoint of Kobane to escape Islamic State extremists.

The aunt, who says she spoke with Abdullah by telephone, gave a harrowing account of the capsize that claimed the lives of his wife and two sons.

As the boat went over, she said Abdullah emerged with the two boys in his arms but his older boy showed no signs of life, so he let him go to try to save the youngest.

"He looked at him and there was blood coming from his eyes and so he closed his eyes and he let him go too," she said in tears.

The lifeless body of his wife, who was terrified of the water, according to Teema, was floating nearby.

"They didn't deserve to die," Teema said. "They were going for a better life. It shouldn't happen, it shouldn't happen to them."

- Refugee crisis hits campaign -

With Canada heading to elections on October 19, the plight of Syria's refugees has become a campaign issue, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper pledging to do more if his Tories are re-elected -- while stressing the key to ending the crisis was to defeat the Islamic State group.

"If we look at the millions of people literally who are in danger and the tens of thousands dying, we could drive ourselves crazy with grief and obviously we do what we can do to help," he said.

While Canada has agreed to resettle 20,000 refugees, as of late July it had only welcomed 1,002, according to government figures.

Thomas Mulcair, leader of the New Democratic Party, which is leading in the polls, said Canada could easily take in 10,000 refugees "immediately."

"As a father and grandfather, I think it's absolutely intolerable what we're seeing now... (and it) cannot go on," he said.

At a campaign stop, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau stepped up his criticisms of the Conservatives on immigration.

"You don't get to discover compassion in the middle of an election campaign. You either have it or you don't."

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Fri, 04 Sep 2015 07:56:38 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21232-canada-denies-turning-away-drowned-syrian-boys-family
Foreign Leaders Pledge Support During RECCA Summit http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21231-foreign-leaders-pledge-support-during-recca-summit

The second day of the 6th Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan started off with a high-level press conference in Kabul on Friday morning and was followed up in the mid-afternoon by pledges of support by two key financial stakeholders.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said: "We are serving as transaction advisor on TAPI [gasline project]. We invite stakeholders to come forward and partner."

The World Bank also came out in support of Afghanistan and said: "Regional Integration is helpful to poverty alleviation and economic development."

They said they are supporting the CASA-1000 electricity project and are ready to support similar initiatives.

World Bank said it has provided trade facilitation and many interventions have been made in the customs and other key areas.

"Afghanistan has progressed on the enabling environment and has many achievements in attracting private investments," said the World Bank delegate.

Earlier in the day, keynote speakers included Afghan Minister of Foreign Affairs Salahuddin Rabbani; President Ashraf Ghani; Tajikistan's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sirodjdin Aslov; Turkmenistan's Minister of Finance Muhammetguly Muhammedov; Iran's Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli; Pakistan's Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz; Arjun Thapa, Secretary General, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and Sujata Mehta, Indian Ministry of External Affairs Secretary.

All high-ranking officials pledged their support to Afghanistan and concurred that a stable Afghanistan would benefit the entire region.

The agenda, under the theme "The Silk Road through Afghanistan" is currently being held in Kabul. A total of 30 countries are represented and delegates from 40 organizations are also participating.

The summit's agenda is focusing on discussions around Afghanistan's economic projects, transit and trade cooperation, customs systems, employing of Afghan workers in Gulf countries, connecting Afghanistan with regional countries and ways to find alternate transit routes.

In addition, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) officials have said RECCA-VI aims to be a breakout RECCA, focusing foremost on connecting funding sources with a short list of bankable infrastructure projects that have significant value add for Afghanistan and its partners in the wider region.

They emphasize that situated at the crossroads of Eurasia, Afghanistan can now access some of the world's fastest growing markets, as well as serve as a transit hub for expanding trade between Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Besides raising living standards and spreading ideas and culture, increased economic connectivity through Afghanistan builds confidence and trust across the region, said MoFA.

Opening Friday's early morning session, Afghan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Salahuddin Rabbani said Afghanistan was in complete favor of developing regional cooperation.

Rabbani said government supports economic development, especially in the private sector but added that he hopes stronger support and cooperation will be forthcoming from regional countries.

President Ashraf Ghani then addressed delegates present and thanked them for attending the summit. He said their mere presence in Kabul was testimony to their commitment to the betterment of Afghanistan.

Pointing out that the Central Asian economy is growing, he said Afghanistan has no other choice but to work towards a better future.

Ghani said that in order for the country to overcome problems it needs to recognize key partners and to find common ground between them in order to solve issues.

Ghani said that everyone agreed that Afghanistan could become a prime tourist destination. Even China has told him if there is stability, thousands of Chinese would visit the country each year, he said.

On the matter of infrastructure, Ghani said production of electricity is key to moving forward and that having so much water, Afghanistan is in a position to provide enough energy to sustain itself.

Ghani says the mining industry is another key sector which can be developed to bring in much needed revenue. In addition, he said that over the next few months, six airports will be handed over to the private sector.

On other developments he said about 200 irrigation projects are to be implemented soon. He then thanked Germany for all the assistance it has given.

Ghani also thanked Iran and said it had taken the lead in helping Afghanistan develop a railway network.

He went on to say transparent monitoring and assessment processes have been implemented in some sectors, including that within the logistics arena.

This, he said, has been done in a bid to stamp out corruption.

In conclusion, he thanked the delegates present for their commitment to helping secure and rebuild Afghanistan and said that a large number of Islamic countries reject the message (going out) of violence in the region.

The next speaker was Tajikistan foreign minister Sirodjdin Aslov who thanked the Afghan government for hosting the summit. He said that while there is no security, no development will take place in Afghanistan and that cross-border cooperation is needed.

Aslov says the region can bring about stability and security if there is strong cooperation among the countries. He also said training centers should be established in Tajikistan for Afghans to receive further education.

Following after Aslov, the Turkmenistan Minister of Finance Muhammetguly Muhammedov spoke and urged Afghanistan to use them to mediate in the peace process because of their impartiality.

He also said his country supports the peace process, and called for the Afghan situation to be resolved diplomatically and peacefully.

Muhammedov said his country's key cooperation was with regards to the supply of electricity but stated that key to development for Afghanistan was that within the transit sector. He said Turkmenistan would appeal to the United Nations General Assembly to help Afghanistan.

Next up was the Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli. He said Iran and Afghanistan share a common language and culture and that his country has always supported Afghanistan.

Fazli also came out in support of the National Unity Government and said that a stable Afghanistan would benefit the entire region.

Fazli says Iran believes terrorists cannot be divided into good and bad but that they are a big threat to the region.

He said Iran is committed to assisting Afghanistan develop its transit systems and that the Chabahar port is critical for the region.

He called on the international community however to increase its support to Afghanistan - especially in terms of aid for development projects.

Wrapping up his statement, Fazli emphasized Iran's commitment to helping Afghanistan develop its railway system and said a new railway project - that will connect Iran and Afghanistan - in Farah province is 57% complete.

Pakistan's National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz then spoke and thanked Kabul for hosting the summit. He said his country supports regional cooperation.

Aziz said a key railway project from Peshawar to Jalalabad will be completed next year and that his country is trying to overcome obstacles between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Also addressing delegates was Secretary General of SAARC Arjun Bahadur Thapa who said the organization has good measures in place for Afghanistan.

Thapa says Afghanistan could one day become the regional hub for Central Asia but that a priority right now was electricity supply projects.

He also said a lot of work was needed among regional countries to forge closer ties.

Thapa said that SAARC has nine regional projects and 56 organizations are working to implement them.

The final speaker to address the delegates was Sujata Mehta, Indian Ministry of External Affairs' Secretary.

She said the implementation of CASA-1000 and the TAPI gas pipeline project are both long-term projects that don't bring much economic relief to the people.

She said there should instead by more short term projects, which would help create jobs.

According to her India has always believed that with stronger ties, Afghanistan's economy would improve. She said her country is working tirelessly on the Chabahar port project to provide an alternate transit route.

India's Mehta says that the need to connect Afghanistan to the world market is of critical importance.

Following the press conference, delegates adjoined to plenary sessions which are scheduled to be held during the course of the day.

Later this afternoon, delegates are however expected to adopt conference resolution in order to determine their way forward.

 

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Fri, 04 Sep 2015 07:45:39 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21231-foreign-leaders-pledge-support-during-recca-summit
TAWDE KHABARE: RECCA Summit Launches In Kabul http://www.tolonews.com/en/tawde-khabare/21230-tawde-khabare-recca-summit-launches-in-kabul

Afghanistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) officially launched the sixth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) on Thursday in Kabul with deputy foreign minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai formerly welcoming delegates.

Ministers from 30 countries and representatives from at least 40 international organizations are attending the two-day summit.

MoFA officials said the main topics of discussion over the two days will include economic projects, transit and trade cooperation, customs systems, employing of Afghan workers in Gulf countries, connecting Afghanistan with regional countries and an alternate transit route.

In this episode of Tawde Khabare, host Zabi Sadaat discusses the topic with the following guests,

Alam Khan Hamdard, economic analyst
Muzammil Shinwari , Afghan deputy commerce minister
Khanjan Alkozai, ACCI deputy chief

To watch the program, click here:

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Fri, 04 Sep 2015 07:26:15 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/tawde-khabare/21230-tawde-khabare-recca-summit-launches-in-kabul
MEHWAR: Interview with Wais Ahmad Barmak http://www.tolonews.com/en/mehwar/21229-mehwar-interview-with-wais-ahmad-barmak

To watch the exclusive interview of Wais Ahmad Barmak, Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, click here:

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Fri, 04 Sep 2015 07:06:12 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/mehwar/21229-mehwar-interview-with-wais-ahmad-barmak
Finance Minister Deliberates Importance of SOM http://www.tolonews.com/en/mehwar/21228-finance-minister-deliberates-importance-of-som

Host Anisa Shahid speaks to Afghan Finance Minister Eklil Hakimi about Saturday's scheduled Senior Officials Meeting (SOM). Officials are expected to report back to donors and the international community on issues including the fight against corruption, good governance and the strengthening of human rights among other issues.

To watch the whole interview, click here:

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Fri, 04 Sep 2015 06:57:06 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/mehwar/21228-finance-minister-deliberates-importance-of-som
FARAKHABAR: Analysts See RECCA As Critical For Afghanistan http://www.tolonews.com/en/fara-khabar/21227-farakhabar-analysts-see-recca-as-critical-for-afghanistan

A number of analysts discussed details of Afghanistan's economic plans and projects at a sideline meeting at the 6th Regional Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) in Kabul on Thursday.

It is believed that Afghanistan is in need of regional economic cooperation more than at any other time, and the summit seems to be a good opportunity in this regard, analysts said.

In this episode of Farakhabar, host Fawad Aman discusses the topic with the following guest:

Mahmood Saiqal, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations

To watch the program, click here:

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Fri, 04 Sep 2015 04:25:50 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/fara-khabar/21227-farakhabar-analysts-see-recca-as-critical-for-afghanistan
Shaheen Asmayee Beat Toofan Harirod 3-0 http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21226-shaheen-asmayee-beat-toofan-harirod-3-0 apl-3-sep

Shaheen Asmayee on Thursday beat Toofan Harirod 3-0 in their second match in the Roshan Afghan Premier League (RAPL) tournament.

The first goal was scored by Hashmatullah Barikzai of Shaheen Asmayee in the 12th minute of the match.

Toofan Harirod tried hard to compensate but was not able to succeed.

The first half of the match ended 1-0 in favor of Shaheen Asmayee although numerous strikes for the net were made by both sides.

In the 68th minute, Reza Allahyari scored the second goal for Shaheen Asmyaee. The third goal came soon after the second, and hit the net in the 70th minute. It was scored by Naimi.

Mueen Hamidi the Toofan Harirod coach said: "The teams are highly prepared for the matches. We have witnessed interesting play by the teams. It cannot be predicted that who will win the title because all the teams are playing very well."

Shaheen Asmayee's coach, Sayed Bashir Sadat said: "The eight teams are the best teams this year and it is visible. The level of the matches have highly improved."

Shaheen's Hashmatullah Barekzai said: "We came out on top because we played as a united team with good coordination."

Mawj Hai Amu will play Oqaban Hindukush in the next match of the premier league.

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Thu, 03 Sep 2015 15:46:18 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21226-shaheen-asmayee-beat-toofan-harirod-3-0
TOLOnews 6pm News 03 September 2015 http://www.tolonews.com/en/6pm-news-bulletin/21225-tolonews-6pm-news-03-september-2015 nataq-3sepTop news in this Bulletin:

Former President Hamid Karzai played open cards in an interview with TOLOnews and spoke of his support of the National Unity Government, the war in Afghanistan, the Bilateral Security Agreement and what he called the US's duel policy towards Pakistan and terrorists. He also said however that he was sure the country could pull together and achieve peace and stability by 2020.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

{youtube}JfTiLfCptYU{/youtube}

 Afghanistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) officially inaugurated the 6th Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) on Thursday in Kabul with the participation of delegates from 30 countries and representatives from almost 40 organizations.

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Thu, 03 Sep 2015 15:42:52 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/6pm-news-bulletin/21225-tolonews-6pm-news-03-september-2015
Karzai Hopeful For A Better Future http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21224-karzai-hopeful-for-a-better-future karzai-3-sept

Former President Hamid Karzai played open cards in an interview with TOLOnews and spoke of his support of the National Unity Government, the war in Afghanistan, the Bilateral Security Agreement and what he called the US's duel policy towards Pakistan and terrorists. He also said however that he was sure the country could pull together and achieve peace and stability by 2020.

Asked by Black and White host Sami Mahdi, about whether he had ever been offered a bribe – Karzai said he had. However, the bribe had been made by foreigners, he said adding that he had not accepted it.

Speaking frankly on the challenges he faced while in office, on mistakes made and on his achievements, he said the most difficult decision of all had been on whether to sign the BSA with the United States.

But on the subject of the National Unity Government (NUG) Karzai said President Ashraf Ghani had been his choice for president in the run up to the 2014 elections.

"As the former president of Afghanistan I should be cautious in commenting about the current president. My words should be in support of the government. I deem it my responsibility to support the government of Afghanistan and I should be with them. I will do anything to bring a positive environment to the country," he added.

Asked pointedly about whether he is looking to bring down the current government, he said that he has no such intention.

"We left the government. We could continue if we wanted. Foreigners told me several times to continue. The condition was part of the BSA. I rejected the suggestion. I considered both the BSA and the continuation of my government against the interests of Afghanistan. They are not in favor of the country."

But, he said peace will never come to Afghanistan if the politics of the country do not change.

On whether he planned to form an opposition party, he said that was not on the cards. "I don't have talent in this regard, but I do have talent in uniting people and supporting unity among them."

On the subject of intelligence sharing between Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security (NDS) and Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), he said that he was against the ideal. He said he felt it was not in the national interests of the country.

"We told them that it was against the interests of Afghanistan and it should be canceled and such a thing should not be repeated in future," he said.

According to reports, Karzai traveled to Pakistan more than 20 times during his presidency, but none of these trips proved fruitful.

When asked what Afghanistan should do with Pakistan, he said: "We want friendship with the nation of Pakistan - which is a brother and dear nation for us. We have a friendship with Pakistan's politicians and they hope for improvement in Afghanistan. But as much as the Pakistan nation is a friend, their intelligence agency is in the service of big powers and it is them that have oppressed Afghanistan to pursue their own goals. We hope that they have changed. We don't have enmity with them. We want them to change. We want improvements."

"They wanted us to recognize the Durand Line as an international border. We told them it is not possible. They wanted us to cut down on our relations with India. But we will never accept it," he added.

"Afghanistan should talk with Pakistan from an independent and dignified position; not from a weak stance," he said.

When asked about relations between the U.S and Pakistan he pointed out that the two countries had a long-standing friendship – one that has spanned 60 years.

According to him, he does not understand the U.S's interest in Afghanistan and said he has not been able to figure it out.

"I hoped we could find out what it is. But we couldn't. We have a number of doubts. We shared these with the U.S nine years ago. Our message to the US was and is that the US has stepped into this region for chasing its super power aims. Afghanistan as a vulnerable and weak country doesn't have the ability to fight it. The U.S should not undermine the interests of this nation while chasing its goals."

He said: "The war in Afghanistan is a war for strangers' interests ... The war on terror is going on for the past 13 years but terrorism has increased not only in Afghanistan but also in other countries."

When asked whether he considers the US a friend or foe he said: "America is a big country in the world. We want friendship with American people and we thank them for their help. But our view differs about the acts of the U.S government. We criticize their duel policy and we want a clear policy – a policy which guarantees the interests of Afghanistan and our interests are improvement and security in this country."

He said the first time the U.S suggested he sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) was in 2012. However, it was only later that the Afghan government started looking at the accord in detail.

He said a lot of political dealings went on during his 13 years at the helm. "What I heard from them was that they told me in 2013 to bring our foreign policy – particularly towards India – under the control of Pakistan. Another thing that I asked them was that if a bomb hits Kabul or any other provinces of Afghanistan and kills children and women; is it terrorism? They told me that it is not terrorism. They said terrorism is considered when the US's interests are under threat. Again I asked them what if Pakistan sends 3,000 forces to attack Paktia province in Afghanistan? They told me that it is an issue between you and Pakistan."

He said such comments resulted in him not signing the BSA, on the grounds that he hoped the U.S would first guarantee peace in Afghanistan and make its policy clear on Pakistan and terrorism.

On the issue of Daesh in Afghanistan, Karzai said the group was a complete foreign phenomenon in the country and that without the support of foreigners it will not grow. "This group has been established by foreigners but it is too soon to say which foreigners are behind it," he maintained.

Again the issue of the BSA was raised when he was asked what was the most difficult decision he had to make during his time in office. He said it was that of whether to sign the BSA or not.

"We took lots of decisions. Some of them were very difficult for us to decide. One of the most difficult decisions for us was that of signing of the BSA with the U.S. After two years of assessment of this agreement, we reached a point that the agreement should not be signed until the U.S committed to bringing peace to Afghanistan. It was a difficult decision."

"The U.S side tried a lot and warned us that it will cut its aid to the country and so on. But on the other hand, the primary interest for the people of Afghanistan was peace and security. Balancing the two was very difficult."

About his biggest mistake in office, he said he felt the decision to have a free market economy was one of the biggest mistakes made during his presidency. "I think we went towards a free market economy in too much of a hurry as it was what the West wanted. It was our biggest mistake."

He said there are three things he did during his presidency that he is proud of. "There are three things. It is that Afghanistan once again was changed into the home for all of its people, education returned for Afghanistan, and freedom of media was initiated. These are my successes and I am very happy about them."

On the issue of infrastructural projects, he said during his term of office he appealed to the international community for three things – roads, dams and locally produced electricity. "They accepted the first one – roads construction – which they needed to travel on but rejected the others. The only country that helped us in infrastructural projects was India. Work on some other power dams like Machalgho and others were started from Afghanistan's budget."

He touched on the electoral process and said a transparent election is only possible when there is no interference by foreigners. "The only thing that affects Afghanistan is the interference from abroad. We should try to hold elections using our own budget in order to witness a transparent and free poll," he said.

However, Karzai has been blamed for leaving in his wake a corrupt administration. He however rejected such claims. "There was no administration, no facilities and no organization in place [when he came to power]. Creating an administration is not an easy task. We put the foundation stones for all these," he added.

He said that the U.S had confessed to him that they lied to Afghanistan. He said a lot that was promised in the form of aid was never forthcoming. In addition, they had wanted him to form a temporary government, he said adding that he had rejected this.

He did however, say he hoped the new government stayed in power and completed its four years. "We should try to help them complete the term. Afghanistan should not be a laboratory – neither for Afghans' nor for foreigners' goals."

"I will urge them to come to the country and build it even if they are bad."

On a more positive note he said he believed that if the nation comes together, by 2020 Afghanistan could be free from war.

"The day when we held the oath taking ceremony for the new president was the happiest day for me. I felt very calm and felt that I was successful. And I felt that Afghanistan was moving towards fundamental democracy."

To watch the whole interview, click here:

{youtube}92pYA-EkUhE{/youtube}

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Thu, 03 Sep 2015 15:29:30 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21224-karzai-hopeful-for-a-better-future
RECCA Summit An Opportunity for Regional Cooperation http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21223-recca-summit-an-opportunity-for-regional-cooperation recca-3-sept

Afghanistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) officially inaugurated the 6th Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) on Thursday in Kabul with the participation of delegates from 30 countries and representatives from almost 40 organizations.

According to the MoFA officials, the summit's agenda focusses on discussions around Afghanistan's economic projects, transit and trade cooperation, customs systems, employing of Afghan workers in Gulf countries, connecting Afghanistan with regional countries and ways to find alternate transit routes.

Afghan officials say RECCA is critical in bolstering regional cooperation and will help attract investment for Afghanistan's economic infrastructural development such as that of energy production, rail networks and transportation sectors.

Referring to RECCA's impact on Afghanistan's economic situation, officials from Afghanistan Investment Supporting Agency (AISA) said that such meetings play a key role in strengthening Afghanistan's reputation among its partners, adding that discussions were also conducted on the establishment of a permanent monitoring office for regional economic cooperation.

"Along with the government, it is quite significant to have the role of the private sector contributing in different economic projects on a regional level, this could lead to the enhancement of investment in various countries," AISA chief Qurban Haqjo said.

"The future of Afghanistan and our regional partners in terms of economic prosperity have direct links to transit, trade and extended economic cooperation. Inclusive economic strategies are supposed to ensure sustainable growth in Afghanistan and the region," Minister of Economy Abdul Sattar Murad said.

Rehabilitation of the ancient Silk Road, the implementation of the TAPI project, the establishment of five rail corridors between five regional countries, the implementation of several gas pipeline projects between central Asian and south Asian countries, the establishment of Lahjaward Road and the further expansion of investment by the private sector among regional countries was among the key topics upon which the RECCA attendees focused on in the first day of the meeting.

Representatives of the private sector emphasized that a greater role by the private sector in regional economic activities was needed.

"Besides implementing the proejcts for imported energy, we are also trying to work on other opportunities that exist in the country for energy production," head of Da Afghanistan Breshna Shirkat (DABS) Abdul Razaq Samadi said.

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Thu, 03 Sep 2015 15:01:32 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21223-recca-summit-an-opportunity-for-regional-cooperation
RECCA Deemed Highly Important For Afghanistan http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21222-recca-deemed-highly-important-for-afghanistan reaction-3-septermber

A number of analysts discussed details of Afghanistan's economic plans and projects at a gathering in Kabul on Thursday on the sidelines of the 6th Regional Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA).

"The gathering was aimed at practicing the decisions made by ministers in RECCA," head of Strategic Studies Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Faramarz Tamana told TOLOnews.

"Researchers and scholars, who are attending RECCA from different countries, will share their ideas about economic cooperation, economic projects in Afghanistan and the economic plans for the country. The results of the studies will be handed over to the Afghan government," he added.

The Minister of Mines and Petroleum, Daud Shah Sabah said all important economic issues will be discussed at the summit.

"From trade to energy – power and fuel – to multilateral economic agreements and the Silk Road are the main issues that will be talked about at the RECCA summit," he said.

Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer of Afghanistan, Mahmoud Saiqal termed the RECCA summit as highly important for Afghanistan, and said: "The process will help strengthen coordination among different players in the region – particularly about Afghanistan."

He added: "Afghanistan's big projects need coordination. For instance the TAPI pipeline project."

It is believed that Afghanistan is in need of regional economic cooperation more than at any other time, and the summit seems to be a good opportunity in this regard, analysts said.

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Thu, 03 Sep 2015 14:51:38 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21222-recca-deemed-highly-important-for-afghanistan
Europe's NATO Commander Promises Military Hardware http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21221-europes-nato-commander-promises-military-hardware nato-3-sep

NATO's Allied Commander for Europe General Philip Breedlove said on Thursday that Afghan security forces, both ground and air, will be provided with more military hardware to fight the Taliban and Daesh.

Speaking during a two-day visit to Afghanistan, Breedlove said that NATO will never forget Afghanistan and that the Taliban has to end its campaign of violence.

Breedlove meanwhile considers Daesh a serious threat and expressed his concern over the spread of the group in parts of Afghanistan and stated that the Afghan forces will receive more equipment in order to help secure Afghanistan.

According to Breedlove, NATO assessments show that Taliban attacks have decreased by up to 20 per cent in the past few months. He said that about eight percent of land mine explosions had been foiled but that a large sector of society, both military and civilian, were victims of landmines blasts.

Breedlove believes that the Taliban is no longer able to continue the violence against the Afghan people and it is possible that the death of Mullah Omar will create further differences among group members.

Speaking at a press conference in Kabul, Breedlove said that "we all see the loss of the Taliban leader as an opportunity and as you all see as well as I, there have been struggles inside the Taliban and again that opens up opportunities, clearly also sometimes when an organization loses a leader, the new leadership comes in with a lot of energy to try to show that they are in charge and they are moving out and that they are making a difference and this may also affect what happens on the battle field," Breedlove said.

The general spoke about his time with Afghan and U.S officials and he said that during his trip he visited southern and northern parts of the country. He praised the Afghan security forces' performance and stated that Afghan troops, especially in the air sector, were performing well.

According to Breedlove the Taliban are still a serious threat to Afghanistan and efforts should be continued to eliminate Daesh.

"Clearly we are concerned about ISIL (Daesh), I think the leadership of this nation is concerned about ISIL, it is an emerging capability, it is not the powerful capability that it is in other parts of the world, but we are concerned about it and its presence - what it means," said Breedlove.

However he did not comment on his country's recent criticism over Pakistan in what they see as their failure to combat terrorism. He said that the only way to succeed in the fight against terrorists and achieve positive results in peace talks are if Kabul and Islamabad cooperate with each other.

Breedlove said that NATO officials in Afghanistan and Belgium will reassess the situation at the end of the fighting season – which will coincide with the onset of winter.

"We completely support both the president and CEO's path forward here, we applaud the effort to try to bring the sides together [with peace talks] so that they can approach this in a single way, because again that is the way this has to be resolved," Breedlove added.

Breedlove said that during his visit to Afghanistan he witnessed good progress and while visiting Maiwand 215 corps and the German military base in Mazar-e-Sharif he witnessed positive changes that had taken place recently.

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Thu, 03 Sep 2015 14:43:42 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21221-europes-nato-commander-promises-military-hardware
SOM Conference to Review Donor Commitment http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21220-som-conference-to-review-donor-commitment som-3sept

Afghan Finance Minister Eklil Hakimi on Thursday announced that delegates from 60 countries and donor groups are expected to attend a key meeting on Afghanistan - known as the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) - to discuss commitments made by the international community toward Afghanistan at previous conferences.

The delegates will attend the meeting in Kabul on Saturday, Hakimi told TOLOnews on Thursday.

He said that SOM will also focus on promises made by the Afghan government to donors and international community.

According to Hakimi, the Afghan officials will brief SOM delegates on a number of key achievements the country has made to date such as the fight against corruption, good governance and strengthening of human rights.

Referring to the performance of the National Unity Government (NUG) over the past year, Hakimi expressed satisfaction over the attainments made by the current administration and said that the NUG has managed to make some gains in various spheres such as that of corruption, considering reforms in various fields, economic development and promoting human rights.

"I acknowledge that some work has been done, but we have not been able to inform the people about this. But several initiatives have been done and the international community is fully aware of it and we do not have a problem to tell the world about it. Because the international community is aware, but we didn't get the opportunity to inform the people," he said.

Hakimi has however defended the NUG's performance - at a time when civil society activists and economic analysts have criticized the NUG over its poor performance since it was formed a year ago.

"There are some achievements in the political sphere, reforms and strengthening civic institutions and women's contributions, however there has been a roll-back in the economic development process and at curbing the scale of corruption," civil society activist Bari Salam said.

Hakimi also touched on speculation that Afghanistan will continue to face economic and political downturns after the drawdown of foreign forces from the country at the end of last year and that Afghanistan, by adopting a positive stance has managed to prove otherwise.

"Afghanistan's economy is on the move toward self-reliance despite predictions by some countries of a possible economic recession and lapse in security. But we came out of this exam successful and now we are on the right track toward economic stability by keeping in mind our economic standards," Hakimi added.

But some analysts rejected these upbeat claims and said some sectors were deteriorating.

"The security situation is fragile and corruption has not been fought effectively and there has not been enough reforms while the human right situation is also deteriorating. This indicates government's failure in fulfilling its promises," economic analyst Sardar Ahmad Rahimi said.

Fighting corruption and economic development was two of the NUG leaders promises at the London summit. Experts believe that the government has failed to fulfill both these obligations.‎

At the Tokyo summit on Afghanistan in 2012, donors and Afghanistan's key partners pledged to provide a financial package worth $16 billion USD to ensure political stability and development programs. However, the international community attached a number of conditions to the aid in a bid to get the Afghan government to effect comprehensive reforms, good governance practices and to combat corruption.

The Tokyo summit was then followed up by one in London last year in which the global community reaffirmed their long term economic and political commitments to the war-ravaged nation. However world leaders again urged the Afghan government to go through the process of reforms, fight corruption and implement good governance.

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Thu, 03 Sep 2015 13:38:21 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21220-som-conference-to-review-donor-commitment
Afghanistan's U-19s Win Asian Premier League Title http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21219-afghanistans-u-19s-win-asian-premier-league-title cricket-3sep

The Afghanistan under-19 cricket squad won the Asian Premier League U-19 championship title after defeating Malaysia in their last match on Thursday.

The match started off with Malaysia batting first to set the target of 106 runs in 50 overs. The Afghan side reached the target in only the 23rd over and clinched the championship league title.

The Asian Premiere League, which kicked off on August 28 in Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur, ended on Thursday. Afghanistan won the title after a clean run of no losses in the tournament.

"We have planned two international trips for U-19 squad. The first trip will be to Sri Lanka and the second to India where they will play the U-19 cricket teams of India, England and South Africa," said Shafiqullah Stanikzai, Chief Executive Officer of Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB).

Afghanistan beat Kuwait, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Malaysia U-19 cricket teams during this tournament.

Afghanistan U-19 cricket team is ranked seventh among 120 world countries.

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Thu, 03 Sep 2015 13:27:29 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21219-afghanistans-u-19s-win-asian-premier-league-title
BLACK AND WHITE: Ex-President Karzai On His Presidential Journey http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/black-a-white/21218-black-and-white-ex-president-karzai-on-his-presidential-journey

In this episode of Black and White, former president Hamid Karzai talks about his presidential journey, the relations with Pakistan and other world countries, the achievements, the mistakes and many more.

To watch the whole program, click here:

{youtube}92pYA-EkUhE{/youtube}

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Thu, 03 Sep 2015 10:07:50 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/black-a-white/21218-black-and-white-ex-president-karzai-on-his-presidential-journey
RECCA Summit Launches In Kabul http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21217-recca-summit-launches-in-kabul

Afghanistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) officially launched the sixth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) on Thursday in Kabul with deputy foreign minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai formerly welcoming delegates.

Ministers from 30 countries and representatives from at least 40 international organizations are attending the two-day summit.

MoFA officials said the main topics of discussion over the two days will include economic projects, transit and trade cooperation, customs systems, employing of Afghan workers in Gulf countries, connecting Afghanistan with regional countries and an alternate transit route.

Karzai said on Thursday that in addition to mapping out the way forward, delegates will also revisit commitments made at the previous RECCA Summit, that was held in Dushanbe, in Tajikistan, in 2012.

The deputy minister went on to say that delegates will in the next two days also look at finding solutions for challenges that lie ahead.

He said the summit was critical for the region in terms of economic growth and development, adding that he hopes the work done during the next two days will be followed through and implemented.

He assured delegates that Afghanistan was committed to working with the countries in the region.

In turn, Sattar Murad, the Minister of Economy, also welcomed the delegates and in his speech said that Afghanistan currently needs assistance from foreign countries.

He said that although Afghanistan was working hard at increasing government's revenue, the economy is struggling. He said one of government's main areas of concern is that of the weak Afghan currency.

He said the country needs sound economic policies – policies that can also help generate revenue through production and industrialization.

Murad said that among the main goals of RECCA will be to draw up strategies for the near future and to see that they are implemented

Murad also raised the issue of customs and said that this sector needs to be addressed.

Another focal area of the summit will be that of railway links, says Murad adding that the issue of the Chabahar port, between Iran and Afghanistan, will also come under the spotlight.

Since 2005, RECCA has provided a forum for regional engagement on economic cooperation. Critical to its success has been keeping pace with global, regional, and domestic economic shifts, and providing a platform for regional and donor
governments for a more coordinated investment framework, while also availing itself of emerging investment opportunities, including for the private sector.

Since its establishment, over the past decade RECCA has worked to:

• Facilitate implementation of a select number of high impact regional economic cooperation investment projects;
• Maximize inter-regional trade, including with and through Afghanistan;
• Identify a series of economic policy priorities;
• Create a regional energy market;
• Facilitate trade and transit routes;
• Harmonize customs and borders routines; and,
• Expand markets and market access for public and private investors.

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Thu, 03 Sep 2015 05:46:22 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21217-recca-summit-launches-in-kabul
Three Police Join Taliban in Baghlan http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21216-three-police-join-taliban-in-baghlan

At least three policemen joined Taliban insurgents in Baghlan province on Wednesday night, a source told TOLOnews.

According to the source the policemen took their weapons with them and crossed over to the Taliban in Alaoddin area of central Baghlan district of Baghlan province.

The identity of the policemen is not yet known.

Taliban has yet to comment on the incident.

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Thu, 03 Sep 2015 05:35:11 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21216-three-police-join-taliban-in-baghlan
TOLOnews 10pm News 02 August 2015 http://www.tolonews.com/en/10pm-news-bulletin/21215-tolonews-10pm-news-02-august-2015 Top news in this Bulletin:

The Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the donor countries in Afghanistan will be held in the capital Kabul on Saturday.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

{youtube}Jr8iqT5df5c{/youtube}

Pakistan's national security advisor, Sartaj Aziz, is expected to visit Afghanistan amid strained relations between Kabul and Islamabad.

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Thu, 03 Sep 2015 05:22:37 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/10pm-news-bulletin/21215-tolonews-10pm-news-02-august-2015
Migrant Child's Body On Beach Shocks Europe http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21214-migrant-childs-body-on-beach-shocks-europe

A photograph of a toddler's lifeless body washed ashore on a Turkish beach after a migrant boat sank swept across Europe on Wednesday, in a poignant image of the refugee crisis.

The images showed the little boy lying face down in the sand near Bodrum, one of Turkey's prime tourist resorts, before he was picked up by a police officer in photographs taken by the Dogan news agency.

The hashtag "#KiyiyaVuranInsanlik" ("Humanity washed ashore") made it to Twitter's top world trending topics after the image was widely shared.

The bleak image made the front page of almost all of Britain's major newspapers, including some that had previously taken a hard line on the migrant crisis.

"Tiny victim of a human catastrophe" was the Daily Mail's headline, along with a photo covering almost all of its front page.

"Unbearable" said The Mirror.

"If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?" asked The Independent in an editorial which was headlined: "Somebody's child."

The paper immediately launched a petition demanding Britain accept "its fair share of refugees" which gained 10,000 signatures in hours.

London has come in for criticism over the number of refugees it has accepted which is lower than other EU countries in proportion to its population.

The Sun, which caused outcry earlier this year when it published a column comparing migrants to "cockroaches", used its front page to urged Prime Minister David Cameron to act.

"It's life and death," read the front page.

"Today The Sun urges David Cameron to help those in a life-and-death struggle not of their own making."

- 'The drowning of Europe' -

The image, which spread like wildfire on social media, also appeared on the websites of Spain's El Pais, El Mundo and El Periodico, which dubbed the image: "The drowning of Europe".

In Italy, La Repubblica tweeted the picture with the words: "One photo to silence the world."

The image also dominated the front pages of Sweden's main newspapers, with the headline in the Dagens Nyheter reading: "The refugee picture which shook the world."

Speaking to AFP, a Turkish rescue worker identified the boy as Aylan Kurdi. Media reports said he was three-years-old.

He was believed to be one of at least 12 Syrian migrants who died trying to reach Greece when their boats sank in Turkish waters.

The Turkish coastguard said two boats had sunk after separately setting off from Turkey's Bodrum peninsula for the Greek Aegean island of Kos early Wednesday. Among the dead were five children and a woman.

Another 15 people were rescued and the coastguard, backed by helicopters, was continuing its search for three more who were still missing, a statement said.

The rescue worker said the toddler from the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane. Residents there had last year fled to Turkey year to escape violence by Islamic State (IS) extremists.

Over the last week, there has been a dramatic spike in the numbers of migrants -- mainly from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Africa -- seeking to leave Turkey by sea for Greece in the hope of finding new lives in the European Union.

This week, the Turkish government said the coastguard had rescued over 42,000 migrants in the Aegean Sea in the first five months of 2015 and more than 2,160 in the last week alone.

A coastguard official told AFP around 100 people had been rescued by Turkish rescue teams overnight as they tried to reach Kos.

The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR says more than 2,500 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean so far this year.

Migrants, many of whom have paid over $1,000 to smugglers for the risky passage, are taking advantage of the calm summer weather which makes this the best time for the crossing.

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Thu, 03 Sep 2015 03:28:31 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21214-migrant-childs-body-on-beach-shocks-europe
MHEWAR: Head Of Airfield Handover Gives Insight Into Project http://www.tolonews.com/en/mehwar/21213-mhewar-head-of-airfield-handover-gives-insight-into-project

In this episode of Mehwar, ex-lawmaker Daoud Sultanzoy, who has been appointed as head of the commission overseeing the project for government, speaks about matters relating to the handover of eight military airfields to the Afghan government.

To watch the program, click here:

{youtube}NiVM0KisILA{/youtube}

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Wed, 02 Sep 2015 18:22:11 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/mehwar/21213-mhewar-head-of-airfield-handover-gives-insight-into-project
GOFTMAN: Reviewing the Economy Since Formation of NUG http://www.tolonews.com/en/programmes/goftman/21212-goftman-reviewing-the-economy-since-formation-of-nug

In this episode of Goftman host Haris Jamalzad discusses the economic status of the average Afghan since the formation of the National Unity Government (NUG) with the following guests:

Amin Farhang, former commerce minister
Sayed Massoud, university lecturer
Dr. Noor Agha Roen, economic expert
Ahmad Zia Rafat, university lecturer

To watch the program, click here:

{youtube}e3fDG6LytVw{/youtube}

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Wed, 02 Sep 2015 18:16:10 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/programmes/goftman/21212-goftman-reviewing-the-economy-since-formation-of-nug
FARAKHABAR: Sartaj Aziz to Visit Kabul, Ease Tensions http://www.tolonews.com/en/fara-khabar/21211-farakhabar-sartaj-aziz-to-visit-kabul-ease-tensions

Pakistan's national security advisor, Sartaj Aziz, is expected to visit Afghanistan amid strained relations between Kabul and Islamabad.

Besides attending the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) summit which will start on Thursday, the Pakistani diplomat is said to help improve the relations between the two neighboring countries, Pakistani media outlets said Wednesday.

The relations were soured following a spate of attacks in Kabul which the Afghan intelligence sources blamed on Pakistan.

Meanwhile, officials at the Afghan Presidential Palace said Afghanistan has delivered solid evidence to the Pakistani government that clearly proved bases of insurgent networks in that country.

Recently, the U.S National Security Advisor, Susan Elizabeth Rice, in her visit to Islamabad called on Pakistan to stop terrorist networks from carrying out attacks on Afghanistan from within their borders.

In this episode of Farakhabar, host Yama Siavash discusses the topic with the following guest,

Ghulam Hussain Nasiri, MP

Bismillah Sher, leader of the Wefaq Millie Party (WMP)

To watch the program, click here:

{youtube}q7etbre5ZvY{/youtube}

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Wed, 02 Sep 2015 18:04:18 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/fara-khabar/21211-farakhabar-sartaj-aziz-to-visit-kabul-ease-tensions
TOLOnews 6pm News 02 September 2015 http://www.tolonews.com/en/6pm-news-bulletin/21210-tolonews-6pm-news-02-september-2015 Top news in this Bulletin:

Religious scholars on Wednesday urged President Ashraf Ghani to start the anti-corruption fight from within the Presidential Palace.

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The Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the donor countries in Afghanistan will be held in the capital Kabul on Saturday.

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Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:08:21 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/6pm-news-bulletin/21210-tolonews-6pm-news-02-september-2015
Afghan Women Call For Action http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21209-afghan-women-call-for-action women 20may

Afghan women on Wednesday gathering in Kabul and called for government to provide them with a secure living environment.

Under the theme of "Legal strategies to prevent sexual harassment of women" the women urged the National Unity Government (NUG) to take a stand against sexual harassment in government and non-government organizations.
They also called on government to create national strategies against the harassment of women and girls.

Among their concerns is that they are not only vulnerable in society but also do not have a safe working environment.

Zarqa Yaftali, Executive Manager of Women and Children Legal Foundation said that the investigation they have conducted in this regard shows that most women and children have said that due to a lack of a legal reference they have no recourse in this respect.

"These women said that there is no legal reference and nowhere to register our complaints in this regard," said Yaftali.

Fawzia Kofi, an Afghan lawmaker said that harassment of women and ignoring women has become a culture and as such women demand a commitment to improve their situation.

"If a problem is ‎known in the community as a real problem, this requires that we should find a solution to the problem and that solution must be comprehensive," said Kofi.

"According to our investigations on the basis of our daily experiences that so far have taken place ... the issue of harassment and ignoring women and gender insulting under the name of women has been changed in to a culture," Kofi added.

"The measures that the NUG has regarding women and youth are very serious measures but the implementation of the measures but are time consuming. We must be sure that the works regarding this issue will be done," said Habiba Wahaj Second Vice President Advisor on Women and Children.‎

Women said that if the government does not take action on the issue, the future for women in the country will be bleak.

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Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:07:08 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21209-afghan-women-call-for-action
Kabul To Host SOM Conference Next Week http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21208-kabul-to-host-som-conference-next-week som 02sep

The Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the donor countries in Afghanistan will be held in the capital Kabul on Saturday.

The Afghan National Unity Government (NUG) is expected to present reports regarding commitments made during the Tokyo and London summits.

At the London summit the NUG leaders presented a reform plan to the international community regarding areas of good governance, fighting corruption, security, supporting women and children rights and the growth of the economy.

Bringing reforms and supporting human rights - especially that of women and children rights - were the commitments of the NUG leaders but whether the government has ‎recording many achievements in this field will be revealed at Saturday's SOM meeting.

"The promises that were given are not addressed, no attention paid to ensure human rights. The human rights commission itself needs reforms and has lots of problems. Regarding fighting corruption no action has been taken, appointment of non-professionals in the professional posts has prepared more grounds for corruption," said Shahla Farid a university lecturer.

"The President promised to fight corruption but he couldn't and Kabul Bank case is still not finished and not solved, land mafia still exists and administrative system is not reformed," Farid added.

Fighting corruption and economic development was two of the NUG leaders promises at the London summit, experts believe that the government has failed to fulfill these obligations.‎

"There is no doubt that the security forces have honestly defended the independence and territory of the country but corruption and mismanagement in the institutions and lack of attention to the security forces has been problematic and has led to increased problems in Afghanistan, The government failed to make good use of the capacity of the armed forces and bring good cooperation among the forces," said Jawed Kohistani military analyst.

After the Tokyo summit which was held in 2012 the international community committed aid worth $16 billion dollars for stability and development of Afghanistan. Conditions were that if the Afghan government brings reforms aid will be increased.

After the Tokyo summit came the London summit which was held last year and the international community repeated its pledge of aid for Afghanistan. However the international community once again emphasized that good governance, fighting corruption, providing security and also government support of women and children rights in Afghanistan was imperative.

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Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:06:30 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/21208-kabul-to-host-som-conference-next-week