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Ghani explains three pillar approach to a better Afghanistan

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: November 24, 2020)

President Ashraf Ghani called for a moment of silence on Tuesday, while delivering his keynote remarks virtually at the Geneva Conference, for victims of recent attacks, including the Kabul University attack.

Geneva Conference 2020 has brought together about 70 foreign countries and stakeholders who will decide the funding assistance to Afghanistan for the years 2021 to 2024.

Addressing delegates Ghani said: “We, the Afghan people, government and the international community-share a vision of a sovereign, unified, democratic Afghanistan at peace with itself, the region and the world, capable of preserving and expanding the gains of the past two decades.”

Ghani said the country’s “three-pillar approach of peace, state and market-building presented in the second Afghan National Peace & Development Framework were validated & further enriched through a series of workshops with our partners in a spirit of genuine openness”.

Ghani said that we must build a strong regional consensus for a stable and peaceful Afghanistan.

“A sovereign, unified and democratic Afghanistan at peace…is a shared vision of all. This is not just the ultimate objective of our negotiations with the Taliban in Doha, but more importantly, it is also the ultimate goal of the work we do every day,” Ghani added.

Ghani says conditions of well-being need to be created and “rules of the game” also need to be created so that Afghanistan does not find itself “pulled backwards by vacuums of governance in which destructive forces can thrive such as corruption and unequal distribution of resources.

Ghani says “peace-making process will, inshallah, result in an agreement on paper. But peace-building is a multi-dimensional, cross-sectoral, long-term process that will allow us to actually implement the components of any peace agreement on paper.”

Ghani highlighted the need to establish rule of law and security and providing services that build citizen’s trust in government in order to sustain a peace agreement.

“In this way market-building and state-building are inextricably linked to peace-building”.

Ghani stated that regional connectivity is not only key to Afghanistan’s market and state-building agenda but also a key to the country’s peace-building agenda.

“We need to create a strong regional consensus for a stable and peaceful Afghanistan,” he said.

Ghani said Afghanistan is facing daunting challenges but the country needs to adjust to deal with these issues and also acknowledged that “a lot more needs to be done now with a lot less”.

Ghani also mentioned the Afghan security forces and their ability to safeguard the country.

“We have been able to retake most of the districts captured by the Taliban,” Ghani said.

He also stated that there are less than 10,000 foreign troops in the country currently. “International forces reduced from 150,000 in 2011, to below 10,000 today,” he said.

Ghani asked international partners to help Afghanistan “do more with less” in the years ahead and said key sectors “are low-hanging fruits for increasing efficiency and output relatively quickly by implementing cost-cutting measures and deflating bloated bureaucracies”.

Ghani said that Afghanistan is currently focusing on self-sufficiency measures in the education, urban development, energy and infrastructure sectors.

“The real test of the strength of our partnership and the virtue of our shared vision is if we are able to avoid an even greater tragedy of our shared history. We must not let history repeat her tragedies here in Afghanistan.”

UN chief Antonio Guterres delivered a pre-recorded message to the pledging conference and highlighted the achievements Afghanistan has made over the years despite the serious challenges the country has faced over the years including conflict and poverty.

Guterres said Afghans have suffered for too long and called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

Guterres told delegates it’s important that the peace process is inclusive and urges Afghanistan’s neighbors to support the country in its quest for peace and prosperity.


Norway concerned as death toll rises to 29 from COVID vaccine 

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: January 17, 2021)
Norway has raised concerns about the safety of the Pfizer Inc. vaccine after reporting that 29 Norwegians died after receiving the inoculation. 
According to Bloomberg, it’s unclear exactly when the deaths occurred, but Norway has given at least one dose to about 42,000 people and focused on those considered most at risk if they contract the virus, including the elderly.
Until Friday, the vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech SE was the only one available in Norway, and “all deaths are thus linked to this vaccine,” the Norwegian Medicines Agency said in a written response to Bloomberg on Saturday.
“There are 13 deaths that have been assessed, and we are aware of another 16 deaths that are currently being assessed,” the agency told Bloomberg.
All the reported deaths related to “elderly people with serious basic disorders,” it said. 
“Most people have experienced the expected side effects of the vaccine, such as nausea and vomiting, fever, local reactions at the injection site, and worsening of their underlying condition.”
Bloomberg states that official reports of allergic reactions have been rare as governments rush to roll out vaccines to try to contain the global pandemic. However, US authorities reported 21 cases of severe allergic reactions from December 14 to 23 after administration of about 1.9 million initial doses of the Pfizer vaccine. 
The first Europe-wide safety report on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is due to be published at the end of January.
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Two female judges killed in targeted attack in Kabul

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: January 17, 2021)

Two female judges were killed and three others including a driver and a civilian were wounded in an attack by unknown gunmen in Kabul city on Sunday morning, police confirmed.

According to police three gunmen attacked the convoy of vehicles carrying Supreme Court employees in the Qala-e-Fathullah area of PD10 in Kabul city this morning.

Police did not provide further details about the attack.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.

This comes as targeted attacks have sharply increased in Afghanistan amid peace talks in Doha.

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Biden plans about a dozen Day One executive actions: aide

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: January 17, 2021)

US President-elect Joe Biden is scheduled to issue a number of executive orders immediately after his inauguration – by using the powers of his new office to push policy changes on housing, student loans, climate change and immigration, a top aide said on Saturday.

Biden, who campaigned on a raft of promises to undo President Donald Trump’s legacy even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US, will unveil “roughly a dozen” previously promised executive actions on Wednesday, incoming Biden chief of staff Ron Klain said in a memo distributed to reporters, Reuters reported.

The actions to be taken on Wednesday include rejoining the Paris climate accords, reversing a travel ban on several majority Muslim countries, extending a pause on federal student loan payments, halting evictions and foreclosures, as well as mandating masks in inter-state travel and on federal property.

All of the measures were previously announced.

Most of the measures are a reversal of policies Trump pursued and do not require congressional action. But Biden will also unveil a long-expected immigration proposal that would provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants that does require congressional action, Reuters reported.

That measure, as well as Biden’s recent proposal for $1.9 trillion in spending on COVID vaccinations and economic stimulus, face uphill battles in a Congress narrowly controlled by Biden’s fellow Democrats.

A broader set of Biden’s “Day One” promises will be executed over the following nine days after inauguration, Klain said. Those measures include expanding COVID-19 testing and directing the government to favor American-made goods when it makes purchases.

“President-elect Biden is assuming the presidency in a moment of profound crisis for our nation,” Klain said. “During the campaign, President-elect Biden pledged to take immediate action to start addressing these crises and build back better.”

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