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Barikab Residential Town Draft for Refugees Signed: Balkhi

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(Last Updated On: September 24, 2016)

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Officials in Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation have stated that the Barikab Residential Town draft for Afghan refugees has been signed with the Independent Directorate of the Regional Development office in Kabul City, in the presence of the Afghanistan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Monday.

Sayed Hussien Alemi Balkhi, The Minister of the Refugees and Repatriation stated that each day, approximately 6,000 Afghan refugees return to the country from Iran and/or Pakistan.

Minister Balkhi said “13,000 houses will be built for refugees who return to the country, and this will pave the way for the other Afghan returnees to be encouraged to return to Afghanistan.”

Officials in the Independent Directorate of Regional Development urged that the distribution process of land for the refugees will transparent and no previous mistake will be repeated.

Elham Omar Hotaki, the Head of the Independent Directorate of Regional Development said

“The previous mistakes made while [distributing land] have [been] resolved. The current process will be transparent [and] we have launched a data base to track the refugees’ properties.”

Mr. Hotaki also stated that, in accordance with the President’s decree, a draft plan for the Barikab Residential Town has been under development for two months. The residential town will be built as standard and will adhere to the housing master plan programs.

Reported by: Abdul Aziz Karimi

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‘Digital Silk Road’ on track as Afghanistan and Turkmenistan connect 

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(Last Updated On: January 16, 2021)

Thursday marked another milestone in Afghanistan’s modern history when President Ashraf Ghani inaugurated the new fiber optic connection between Turkmenistan and the commercial port of Aqina in Afghanistan’s Faryab province.

Within four months of having signed the memorandum of understanding with government the Afghan Wireless Communication Company (AWCC) had successfully completed the task of connecting the two neighboring countries. 

In a virtual address at the launch, Dr Ehsan Bayat, the founder and chairman of AWCC, said he was “delighted” to celebrate the company’s success in connecting Afghanistan with its friends in Turkmenistan – especially given the past year that has involved unprecedented challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic, which also impacted people’s ability to connect with each other across the globe. 

“When Afghan Wireless embarked on the journey to build Afghanistan’s largest nationwide fiber network, we did so with the goal of realizing President Ghani’s vision to transform the country into a hub of digital data connectivity for Central Asia. 

“Today marks an important milestone in the building of a digital silk road across the region with Afghanistan at its center; a road that will connect millions of Afghans to the digital economy.

He said the latest optical fiber connection, between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, is the country’s fifth and sixth international border connections. Others include Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan. 

“From Mazar to Jalalabad, and from Kabul to Kandahar to Kunduz, communities across the country are benefiting from high-speed connectivity. And now our connection to Turkmenistan through Torghundi and Aqina will enable Herat and western cities to become Afghanistan’s next major bridge for digital transformation,” he said.

However, Bayat stated that the impact of AWCC’s project should not be measured in kilometers of fiber laid, or megabytes of data transmitted, or even money invested but instead, it should be measured by the industries revitalized, the local businesses boosted, the jobs created, the pace of economic development and the enhancement to critical services in health, education, commerce and finance.

“This project could not be delivered without Afghanistan and Turkmenistan working together. 

“Afghan Wireless’ optical fiber connection between the two countries that we are celebrating today is a powerful testament that when we work hand in hand with our neighbors, not only do we strengthen our countries individually, but we also strengthen our region together,” he said.

The Turkmenistan to Aqina cable has the capacity to transfer 2,500 megabits of the Internet and can therefore provide high quality and cheap Internet to Faryab province.

According to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, a fiber-optic network is the result of the rapid development of telecommunications and information technology, which has become an integral part of modern life.

The ministry states that along with the progression of technology and innovation, the shape and quality of tools have also changed to a great extent.

At the beginning of the invention of the telephone, copper cables were used to transmit information and sound, but today, with the advancement of technology and increasing human needs, these cables have been replaced by a new generation of signal conductors or fiber optics.

Because of the need for fast and cheap digital connectivity in the country, Government has already connected a total of 25 provinces in the country with the national fiber-optic network.

 

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Turkmen FM in Kabul to discuss bilateral cooperation

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(Last Updated On: January 8, 2021)

Turkmenistan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Raşit Meredow arrived in Kabul on Friday to discuss issues around bilateral cooperation with the Afghan officials.

In a statement released on Friday, the Afghan Ministry of Foreign stated that the Turkmen official received by Mirwais Nab, Deputy Minister Foreign Minister for Political Affairs at the Kabul’s Hamid Karzai Airport.

According to the statement, Meredow will meet with President Ashraf Ghani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar, and NSA Hamdullah Mohib to discuss cooperation agreements between the two countries.

The Turkmen official expected to discuss the inauguration of Akina to Andkhui Railway line project, Electrical Energy Project from Kerki – Andkhoi – Puli Khumri; and the Fiber Optic Cable line extending internet connection from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan.

Meadow would also sign several Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with the Afghan officials, including an MoU on Political Consultation, an MoU on Agriculture Quarantine, an MoU on Security and Protocol, and an MoU on issues related to Gas and Oil, the statement concluded.

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Afghan, Iran local officials sign trade agreement

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(Last Updated On: January 8, 2021)

Iranian media reported that two provinces of Afghanistan and Iran on Thursday signed an agreement covering the energy, transportation, customs, production, and investment sectors.

The agreement signed during the fourth meeting of the Joint Economic Committee of Khorasan Razavi Province and Herat Province of Afghanistan said IRNA.

Iranian officials said that four working groups on customs and trade, transportation and transit, energy and fuel, and a production and investment working group held meetings to review issues of priority for the parties which led to the signing of an agreement.

Ali Rasoulian, deputy governor of Khorasan Razavi Province added that both sides agreed to facilitate the exchange of goods in the Dogarun border and ease investment and improve interactions so that healthier and better exchanges could be carried out at a lower cost in the Dogarun border.

Based on the agreements, the working hours of the border crossing will be increased, and a committee will meet on a monthly basis at the Dogarun border to review the existing obstacles and problems, he added.

The two sides also agreed to have financial exchanges with better and easier planning, he said, noting that power transmission lines from Khorasan Razavi to Afghanistan will also increase from 132 KV to 500 KV, which will benefit both parties.

Mouneseh Hassanzadeh, Herat deputy governor-general for social affairs, said that the agreement covering four fields.

Negotiations at the 4th meeting of the Joint Economic Summit of Khorasan Razavi and Herat were aimed at improving bilateral relations, growing economic relations, and creating investment opportunities, she said.

Notable that 4th meeting of the Joint Economic Summit of Khorasan Razavi and Herat was held from January 7-8 in Mashhad.

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