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U.S. Troop Drawdown Won’t have ‘Significant Impact’: NSA Mohib

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(Last Updated On: January 6, 2019)

National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib says the U.S. troop drawdown will not have “significant impact” on the security situation of war-torn Afghanistan.

Speaking in an interview with Indian TV channel SNi during his visit to India, Hamdullah Mohib said the Afghan forces have been leading the security efforts since 2014 when thousands of NATO forces withdrew from Afghanistan.

“The drawdown will not have a significant impact. We have been preparing and have been leading actually the security efforts since 2014 when 100,000 NATO troops withdrew from Afghanistan,” he said.

“We’re continuing to build on the capacity and capability of our own security forces and we are proud of the achievements that they have had over the last four years. We’re prepared for whatever is to come and I have full confidence in their capacity,” he added.

Recently, the Afghan government said that they will not participate in the due multinational peace talks in Jeddah unless the Taliban engage with their delegation.

“If they (Taliban) are prepared to speak with the Afghan government we will then participate. The condition is on the process. If they are not willing to participate or talk directly with the Afghan government then it’s not useful for us to go all the way and not be present in the talks,” he said.

He also called on the Taliban to engage in talks with Afghans.

“There will be no peace without intra-Afghan dialogue,” Mohib said. “Any decisions that would be made on Afghanistan will have to be Afghan-owned and Afghan-led.”

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Pentagon offers payment to families of victims of botched drone strike

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(Last Updated On: October 16, 2021)

The Pentagon has offered unspecified condolence payments to the family of 10 civilians who were killed in a botched U.S. drone attack in Afghanistan in August in the final days before American troops withdrew from the country.

The U.S. Defense Department said it made a commitment that included offering ex-gratia condolence payments, in addition to working with the U.S. State Department in support of the family members who were interested in relocation to the United States.

The Pentagon had said the strike targeted an Islamic State (Daesh) suicide bomber who posed an imminent threat to U.S.-led troops as they completed their withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The intelligence failure raised hard questions about future risks, particularly whether the United States can keep track of threats from Afghanistan without a presence in the country.

The confirmation of civilian deaths provided further fuel to critics of the chaotic U.S. withdrawal, which generated the biggest foreign policy crisis yet for President Joe Biden’s administration.

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NASA probe will study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids

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(Last Updated On: October 16, 2021)
NASA launched a first-of-its kind mission on Saturday to study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, two large clusters of space rocks that scientists believe are remnants of primordial material that formed the solar system’s outer planets. Matthew Larotonda reports.
 
NASA launched a new space probe on Saturday (October 16) morning in a special 12-year mission designed to visit more asteroids than ever before.

It focuses on the Trojan asteroids, which are two large clumps of space rocks orbiting the sun. One floats ahead of Jupiter and the other behind it.

Scientists believe the rocks are leftovers from the formation of our solar system.

The probe is called “Lucy” and NASA hopes it will help us learn more about our solar system’s history.

The asteroids are also rich in carbon compounds, and may provide insights into organic materials and life on Earth.

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Turkey could run Kabul airport, says Erdogan

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(Last Updated On: October 16, 2021)

Having previously run Kabul airport, Turkey can take similar steps in the future with Qatar and Afghanistan if the three countries reach a deal, the Turkish president said on Friday.

“So far, we have had a lot of effort in Afghanistan’s infrastructure and superstructure … We were operating the Kabul Airport. In the future, if agreements can be reached, Turkey, Qatar, Afghanistan, we can take such steps,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters.

About the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s recent visit to Turkey, Erdogan said the group asked for humanitarian aid and “made requests concerning the functionality of new process in Afghanistan.”

Erdogan vowed to provide “all manner of support” to the Afghan people as long as the interim administration “takes a just stance in protecting the rights of the Afghan people.”

He said the IEA should also take a fair stance in their relations with Turkey.

An IEA delegation visited Turkey on Thursday to discuss bilateral issues, as well as cooperation on the future of Afghanistan.

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