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Taliban attacks undermining intra-Afghan negotiation prospect: EU

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(Last Updated On: June 28, 2020)

The European Union said that the high level of violence by the Taliban following the signing of the agreement with the US in Qatar is “unacceptable”.

Roland Kobia, the EU Special Envoy for Afghanistan citing the EU Foreign Ministers and EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell Fontelles’ joint statement said that the continued violence undermining the intra-Afghan talks. 

“The unacceptably high level of violence and continued terrorist attacks by the Taliban after Doha is running contrary to the expectations and undermining the prospect for IAN.” Kobia tweeted.

In the past 24 hours, parts of the country have witnessed breathtaking clashes between security forces and the Taliban. Clashes between the Afghan government and the Taliban have escalated, But a Taliban spokesman said all of the group’s fighters are defensive, and the number of attacks had dropped by 60 percent.

In the meantime, people are very concerned about this situation.

“It is the responsibility of the United States to manage the situation and prevent disaster,” said Iqbal Khyber, head of the Helmand peace movement.

At the same time, the NATO SCR to Afghanistan considers the escalation of violence in the country a matter of concern and an obstacle to the start of negotiations between Afghans.

“I’m very concerned about the increase in violence, as the leaders of resolute support are and we all are. The level of violence is simply unacceptable. This level of violence is incompatible with creating a condition trust conducive to good Intra-Afghan negotiations,” said Stefano Pontecorvo, a NATO SCR to Afghanistan.

EU foreign ministers, meanwhile, have said in a joint statement that the increase in Taliban attacks following the Doha agreement is disappointing, stressing that this would weaken the possibility of negotiations between Afghans.

“Operations have been stepped up on both sides. Confidence must be built and the process of releasing prisoners must be accelerated,” said Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban commander.

Nearly 4,000 Taliban by the government and Taliban have released nearly 700 government prisoners on the eve of talks between the Afghans. But the Afghan government sees progress in this area as dependent on the Taliban to reduce violence

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Abdullah introduces list of cabinet nominees to Presidential Palace

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(Last Updated On: July 9, 2020)

Abdullah Abdullah, the Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation has introduced a list of cabinet nominees to the Presidential Palace.

Sources close to Abdullah, however, say that there are still differences over the proposed list between Abdullah front-rows over seat distribution.

Figures listed as candidates for the designated-ministers; Massoud Andarabi for the Ministry of Interior Affairs, Fazl Ahmad Manavi for Ministry of Justice, Anwar al-Haq Ahadi for Ministry of Agriculture, Noor Rahman Akhlaqi for Ministry of Immigration, Mohebullah Samim for Ministry of Borders and Tribal Affairs, Mostafa Mastoor for Ministry of Peace, Masoumah Khavari for Ministry of Communications, Nisar Ahmad Ghoriani for Ministry of Commerce, Mansour Saadat Naderi for Ministry of Economy, Bashir Ahmad Tahianj for Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Kanishka Turkestani for Ministry of Higher Education, Abbas Basir for Ministry of Transport and Najib Agha Fahim, Candidate for Ministry of Martyrs and Disabled.

The list of ministerial nominees for Abdullah Abdullah’s share, however, has clashed within his party members.

Sources close to Abdullah say that the National Movement Party wants three ministries from Abdullah’s share and does not agree with this list.

According to sources, the National Movement has nominated Bashir Ahmad Tahianj for the Ministry of Agriculture, Qudratullah Zaki for the Ministry of Transportation and Kanishka Turkestani for the Ministry of Immigration.

But some other figures close to Abdullah deny the disagreements within the group.

On the other hand, the Independent Directorate of Local Governance says that 11 new provincial governors have been nominated by the president so far and that this process will continue. Abdullah Abdullah, according to the power-sharing agreement between him and Ghani, can introduce 50% of the Afghan cabinet members.

Arg and Sapidar Palace have not officially commented on the matter.

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Afghanistan customs revenue lost to ’embezzlement’

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(Last Updated On: July 9, 2020)

Although taxpayers pay customs duties at the Afghan customs, not all of the revenue being collected in the Afghan government’s account, local officials said.

The ports of Torkham in Nangarhar, Islam Qala in Herat, Hairatan in Balkh, Aqina in Faryab, Spin Boldak in Kandahar, Shirkhan Bandar in Kunduz, Angur Ada in Paktika and several other ports in the north and south of the country have witnessed widespread corruption.

In these ports, although custom fees are paid by taxpayers, little money is raised in government reserves, most of the ports are said to be in the hands of gunmen and the powerful.

Local officials in the provinces where the ports are located say that corruption in customs has recently peaked.

On the other hand, the Integrity Watch of Afghanistan criticizes the lack of administrative reforms, adding that unreasonable appointments have increased corruption in the country’s customs and that the government has not yet taken any steps to reform the process. According to the head of the institution, the current situation has led to organized corruption in customs.

The Ministry of Finance also promises to bring transparency to the country’s customs.

Finance Ministry spokesman Shamrooz Khan Masjidi said customs revenues are being closely monitored to prevent corruption.

Earlier, the governor of Herat said that Islam Qala’s revenue was being looted by mafia gangs and the warlords. According to economists, this is the case in most of the country’s customs.

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COVID-19

Afghanistan witnesses decline in Coronavirus cases: MoPH

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(Last Updated On: July 9, 2020)

Jawad Osmani, Acting Minister of the Public Health, says the number of people infected with the Coronavirus decreased to halve compared to a month and a half ago. 

Coronavirus has declined in Afghanistan; as the Acting Minister of Public Health himself has removed the medical mask from his face at the press conference and used a home mask instead. 

Javad Osmani said: “Compared to two months ago, the infected patients to the virus decreased by 30 percent. If the Coronavirus patients do not reach less than 5%, the situation will not get back to normal.”

On the other hand, the Anti-Corona Emergency Committee warns that as of today, 15 moving teams are inspecting restaurants, cafes, and parks, and if they do not follow the health recommendations, they will be fined first and then they will be banned.

“Today we have sent 15 moving teams to the city to fine and block restaurants and cafes that have started arbitrarily, and this time nothing is acceptable,” said Mohammad Yaqub Haidari, Kabul’s governor.

Meanwhile, officials at the Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs said that those citizens who remain out of the Hajj shift this year will be able to perform the Hajj next year while maintaining the same shift.

Officials at the Ministry of Public Health say that researchers have found that the Coronavirus can spread through the air. They warn people if they do not avoid unnecessary patrols and commute on Eid al-Adha, they will see the second wave of coronavirus.

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