National Unity Government (NUG) CEO Abdullah Abdullah praised former National Security Adviser (NSA) Mohammad Haneef Atmar for his hard work and expressed his regret over his sudden resignation.
Atmar stepped down on Saturday after having served in the position since the establishment of the National Unity Government in 2014.
Speaking on Monday at the Council of Ministers Meeting, Abdullah said Atmar had been a strong and capable manager.
“Atmar was a capable and strong manager, and he did his duties with ability and dignity, and he represents Afghanistan very well,” Abdullah said.
“I am sorry that he has resigned; wish him all the best,” Abdullah added.
Abdullah also indirectly directed security officials to pay more attention to their work.
“Security officials must be held accountable,” Abdullah said.
Immediately after President Ashraf Ghani accepted Atmar’s resignation on Saturday, the Presidential Palace announced that Hamdullah Mohib would take over as new NSA.
Government has not yet said what led to Atmar stepping down, but in his resignation letter the former NSA said his decision was due to "serious differences over policies and approaches at the top level of government."
He said he differed in opinion "when it comes to national unity, national consensus, peace and security political management, electoral affairs, good governance and regional affairs."
Atmar also stated that "because of my differences of these things in recent months I am stepping down because we haven’t reached a consensus."
Atmar, 49, was appointed to the position when the National Unity Government was established in 2014 and signed the Bilateral Security Agreement between Afghanistan and the US in the same year.
On Saturday night, officials said that Ghani had meanwhile called for the resignation of his other top three security chiefs – Wais Ahmad Barmak, Minister of Interior; Masoum Stanikzai, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) chief; and Tariq Shah Bahrami, the Defense Minister.
However, early Sunday Ghani’s office issued a statement that the president had rejected their resignations and ordered them to continue their work.
During Monday’s meeting, Abdullah also confirmed the death of Daesh leader in Afghanistan Abu Sayed Orakzai, also known as Sad Arhabi.
Orakzai was killed in an airstrike on Saturday night in Nangarhar province.
Abdullah said this would help improve security in the country.
“This guy was responsible for most of the violence in Nangarhar, Kabul and other parts of the country and his death is a good step for security of the people,” Abdullah said.
Abdullah also rejected claims by Russia that unidentified helicopters are delivering weapons to Taliban and Daesh fighters in Afghanistan.
“These days, again, I heard (claims) that helicopters are supplying Daesh fighters which is completely baseless,” Abdullah said.
On the election Abdullah said that as the CEO of National Unity Government “I assure the people that our full commitment is to maintain the system and hold elections and until elections are held, no issue in this case will affect the NUG’s functions,” said Abdullah.
On Peace And Moscow Peace Conference:
Abdullah also thanked countries that are paving the way for Afghanistan’s peace, but added that the process must be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.
He said: “You all know about the stance of Afghanistan regarding Moscow peace conference on Afghanistan.”
“The sovereignty of the peace process should not be questioned; the sovereignty must be with Afghanistan’s people and government must take the lead with such efforts,” Abdullah added.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Wednesday said the Afghan government will not participate in the upcoming peace meeting on Afghanistan in the Russian capital Moscow in early September. The ministry said government firmly believes in intra-Afghan dialogue.
According to officials, the Kabul government has not received a formal invitation to attend the talks so far.