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Intelligence chiefs from regional countries meet in Kabul over security

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(Last Updated On: February 18, 2021)

Head of intelligence units from regional countries held a two-day conference on regional security and the fight against terrorism in Kabul this week, Ahmad Zia Siraj, the head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) said Thursday.

Speaking at a meeting after the summit, Siraj said that the meeting, titled ‘Regional Counter-Terrorism Conference’, was attended by ministers and heads of national security and intelligence services from eight countries, including the United States, Pakistan and Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan, Siraj told media representatives at the meeting.

Siraj said the meeting was held following in line with the Afghan government’s efforts to attract the support of regional countries and the world in the fight against terrorism and their efforts to bolster support for the peace process.

Siraj said that high-ranking officials from intelligence organizations praised the NDS for their initiative to host such a meeting.

“Members of the meeting focused on common terrorist threats on three levels: national, regional and international,” Siraj said.

“Also at the meeting, a joint roadmap and mechanism was designed to address the common terrorist threats,” he added.

Siraj said that during the meeting, NDS presented information and documents on the presence and widespread activities of terrorist groups in Afghanistan, noting that the activities of the Afghan government in the fight against terrorism is a step towards peace and stability in the region.

“It was stated at the meeting that the Afghan Defense and Security Forces have a prominent role to play in the fight against regional terrorism. The main goal of these forces is to protect Afghanistan from common regional threats and to prevent the spread of these threats to countries in the region,” he added.

Siraj said that the representatives of the participating countries, while acknowledging Afghanistan’s prominent role in the fight against terrorism at a regional level, accepted the Afghan government’s concerns and acknowledged the growing number of terrorist groups in the region.

“Representatives of the participating countries stated that peace and stability in the region passes through Afghanistan and that a stable Afghanistan is equal to stability in the region,” he asserted.

According to Siraj several issues were agreed upon at the meeting.

He said from now on, common threats will be identified and actions will be taken to eliminate them, and the process of information exchange between intelligence services will be accelerated.

He added that the NDS intends to host regional security meetings in the near future to form a regional consensus against terrorism.

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IEA eager for dialogue with the world: China’s Wang Yi

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(Last Updated On: October 27, 2021)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) officials are eager to have dialogue with the rest of the world, and the international community should help Afghanistan with its development, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday.

In an address delivered by video link to a conference in Iran on Afghanistan, Wang said Beijing was ready to host further talks between Afghanistan and its neighbours on the country’s future.

“The Taliban (IEA) are eager to have dialogue with the world … China will host the third Neighbours of Afghanistan meeting at the appropriate time,” Wang said in comments broadcast live by Iranian state TV.

The meeting of Afghanistan and neighbouring countries was attended in person by the foreign ministers of Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and China and Russia participated by video link.

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Iran says IEA must ensure security to all Afghans and borders

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(Last Updated On: October 27, 2021)

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Wednesday at the opening of a conference on Afghanistan in Tehran that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) are responsible for the security of all Afghans and the country’s borders.

Addressing delegates from Afghanistan’s neighboring countries, and Russia, Amir-Abdollahian said: “We must emphasize that the responsibility of security for Afghan citizens, as well as security at the borders of this country with its neighbors, first of all lies with the ruling council temporarily in charge of Afghanistan.”

Iran also called on the IEA to ensure the Shiite community in Afghanistan is provided security. This comes after recent attacks, claimed by Daesh, targeted this minority group in the country.

The Iranian foreign minister also called on the international community “to pay special attention” to political and humanitarian problems, as well as to terrorism, narcotics trafficking and women’s rights in Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, the Iranian foreign ministry called on the IEA, which was not invited to the meeting, to form an inclusive government and prevent violence.

“The people of Afghanistan are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, including food, medicine and vaccines to combat Covid,” Amir- Abdollahian told the second meeting of Afghanistan’s foreign ministers.

He said: “Considering the fact that aid should be distributed in such a way that people can benefit from it in a fair way.”

“Given the ubiquity of the UN umbrella, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s proposal is to request the Secretary-General of the Organization to make a concerted effort and, if necessary, mediate between the Afghan parties to reach an agreement on the future political structure of the country,” he said.

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Nato was a political failure in Afghanistan: UK’s defence secretary

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(Last Updated On: October 27, 2021)

Nato’s political campaign in Afghanistan was a failure, the UK’s defence secretary said on Tuesday but insisted the western alliance had not suffered a military defeat at the hands of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA).

Speaking to the Commons defence committee on Tuesday afternoon, Wallace said Nato forces could have stayed on in the country, but a “rotten deal” struck by Donald Trump’s US government led to the IEA’s triumphant return, the Guardian reported.

It was “highly likely” that there would now be a renewed threat from al-Qaeda from Afghanistan, Wallace said. But, he added: “For 20 years we were safer, so we can bank that.

“I don’t think that we were defeated. Our resolve was found wanting, I would say, rather than defeated,” he said.

“Nato were there to enable a political campaign and I think that is what failed. The military were there to put in place the security environment in order to try and deliver that.

“When that is withdrawn, that is when you find out whether your political campaign has worked. What we discovered is it didn’t work. It was the western resolve and the western narrative or political foundations they had laid failed. There are a lot of searching questions there for all of us.”

He added: “I think it is highly likely that we will see a return to al-Qaeda and an increasing threat coming from Afghanistan.”

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