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Attack on AGO employees attempt to disrupt peace process: Khalilzad

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: June 23, 2020)

Zalmay Khalilzad, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation condemned yesterday’s attack on Attorney General Office’s employees who were working “to facilitate prisoner releases.”

 “This attack, carried out by enemies of peace, took the lives of five civilians. We offer our condolences,” Khalilzad said in a tweet.

Five employees of AGO were assassinated on Monday while they were on their way to Bagram prisoner. The US Peace Envoy insisted that the incident should be thoroughly investigated.

“We call for a full investigation to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice,” said Khalilzad adding that the attack meant to disrupt the Afghan peace process.

“This attack underscores what we all know: Spoilers (both domestic and foreign) are trying to disrupt and delay,” Khalilzad underscored.

So far, no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack. The Taliban has also denied its involvement in the attack.

“Their (Taliban) denial of these events cannot absolve the group. There have been many other similar attacks on the country’s judges that were done by the Taliban, and the group should clarify this. Violence will have a negative effect on the peace process,” said the presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi.

The Taliban said it is also investigating the case, adding that the laterals should be aware of the conspiracies of countless peace enemies.

“The assassination of prosecutors, in addition to contradicting international human rights documents, could damage the peace process in the current context,” said Naeem Nazari, a member of the Independent Human Rights Commission.

Meanwhile, some experts familiar with the Afghan peace process beliefs that targeted and complex assassinations have been increased following advances in the process.

“Until the Intra-Afghan talks begin, the war will be fiery and the people will be sacrificed. At the first meeting of the talks, a permanent ceasefire will be decided,” said Waliullah Shahin, a peace activist.

Khalilzad noted that the Afghan government and the Taliban should not be deterred, and push forward to take the steps necessary to reach intra-Afghan negotiations, “where a comprehensive ceasefire and a political settlement can be negotiated as quickly as possible. This is what the Afghan people want and we stand with them.”

Meanwhile, President Ghani in a statement condemned the attack, calling it a “terrorist attack” and a “crime against humanity and Islamic values.”

“We expect that the coordination of the time and place of the talks will be finalized at the same time as the end of the prisoner exchange process and the reduction of violence,” said Najia Anwari, a spokeswoman for the government’s Ministry of Peace.

Earlier, a UN report showed that some senior Taliban members opposed to the peace process, in collusion with other groups, had formed a group to promote peace under the name of the Islamic State Party.

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Dubai reopens to tourism and expects ‘aggressive’ bounce back

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: July 8, 2020)

Dubai expects an “aggressive bounce back in tourism by the end of the year after the Middle East hub reopened to holiday-makers on Tuesday.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV on Wednesday, Helal Al Marri, director-general of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “We’re looking forward to seeing aggressive growth coming once things normalize towards the year-end.”

Dubai has spent years transforming itself into a business and tourism hub and attracts millions of visitors a year.

Dubai closed its borders in March and enforced a strict lockdown policy in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19. Flights in and out of Kabul were also suspended and for three months no visas were issued for Afghans traveling to Dubai.

However, flights have slowly resumed to a handful of countries over the past month, including Afghanistan.

Discussing the latest move to reopen to tourism, Al Marri said: “We’re definitely in a much better place today, people are much more optimistic, and we’re seeing it as definitely something very positive.”

He said that as other countries get things under control, as things normalize, “we definitely see the other side as being a very quick rebound to tourism.”

“We envisage as we move towards the year-end and as the markets do open up, people are going to start recruiting again, people are going to start to really try to drive that growth because that’s what they’re there for with their businesses,” Al Marri said.

This comes after Dubai’s Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum toured Dubai International Airport on Tuesday and said that the Emirate was ready to welcome the world once again through its international airport.

“I have reviewed the procedures and protocols in place to welcome tourists back to Dubai. What we have seen clearly demonstrates Dubai’s comprehensive preparedness to welcome the world once again and resume international tourism.

“We have implemented the highest international safety standards to ensure the wellbeing of travelers and tourists,” Sheikh Hamdan said in a statement.

However, on Wednesday, Emirates airlines updated its travel advisory and informed passengers from selected countries, who intend to fly into Dubai, that they will be required to carry out a COVID-19 test before departure.

Certificates must be issued no more than 96 hours before departure, the Dubai-based airline said.

“All passengers traveling with Emirates from the countries or airports specified below have to carry a COVID-19 negative certificate issued by a local government approved laboratory to be accepted on the flight.

“Where specified, a certificate from a UAE government-designated laboratory in the country of origin is also acceptable,” Emirates stated.

The countries affected are:








Russian Federation


USA – Dallas Fort Worth (DFW), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Orlando (MCO), including passengers originating from California, Florida and Texas connecting to an Emirates flight to Dubai.

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Taliban truck bomb kills 2, wounds 15 in Kandahar

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: July 8, 2020)

At least two police were killed and 15 others wounded in a car bomb explosion in southern Kandahar province, a source confirmed.

A security source on a condition of anonymity told Ariana News that an explosive-laden truck targeted the police headquarters building of Shahwalikot district of the province early Wednesday morning.

The incident took place at around 4 a.m. Wednesday, Shahwalikot residents say that casualties might increase.

Meanwhile, the Taliban militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.

The group further claimed that at least 20 soldiers including the district’s police chief were killed in the blast. 

Separately in Ghazni, the district police chief for Deh Yak, Habibullah, was killed in a roadside mine blast at around 4:30 early Wednesday.

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China, Afghanistan, Pakistan seek ‘orderly’ foreign troop exit

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: July 8, 2020)

Afghanistan, China, and Pakistan have called for a responsible withdrawal of US-led coalition forces from Afghanistan in order to prevent what they say is a potential “terrorist resurgence” in Afghanistan.

Following the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Vice Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue, Afghan, Chinese and Pakistani foreign ministry officials issued a statement and said the “three sides agreed to continue to strengthen counter-terrorism and security cooperation, combat the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, and all other terrorist forces and networks posing threats to our common security.”

The third round of talks was co-chaired by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Mirwais Nab, and Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood.

Discussions not only centered on security issues but also on matters around the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the statement, the three sides agreed to further the cooperation against COVID-19, to call on the international community to jointly prevent discrimination and stigma, to support the World Health Organization’s leading role in coordinating global COVID-19 response, to promote international cooperation on joint prevention and control, and to safeguard public health security in the region and beyond.

The statement also indicated that China and Pakistan “appreciated the efforts by the Afghanistan government and relevant parties in expediting the exchange of the (Taliban) prisoners to pave the way for the start of the Intra-Afghan Negotiations and call for violence reduction and humanitarian ceasefire.

“China and Pakistan will enhance cooperation with the Afghan government in support of the Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace reconciliation process, the launch of Intra-Afghan Negotiations at an early date, the preservation of the gains since 2001, and (China and Pakistan) looked forward to the early restoration of peace and stability in Afghanistan,” read the statement.

It was also noted that China will continue to play a constructive role in improving Afghanistan-Pakistan relations.

On the issue of troop withdrawal, the three sides “urged for an orderly, responsible and condition-based withdrawal of the foreign troops from Afghanistan to avoid potential terrorist resurgence.”

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