TOLO News

First 100 Days: Exclusive Interview with Zalmay Khalilzad

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 08:42

In this episode host Shapoor Bakhtiyar discusses with Khalilzad about the Afghan political process with focus on the national unity government and its impact on both Afghanistan and the United States.

To watch the interview, click here:

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FARAKHBAR: 30 September 2014

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 08:40

The crucial Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) and Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) have been signed by newly inducted National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar, U.S. Ambassador James B. Cunningham and NATO Ambassador to Afghanistan Maurits R. Jochems in Kabul at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday.

Within 24 hours of taking office, President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai has fulfilled his promises of signing both critical agreements, which will allow the presence of U.S. and foreign forces in Afghanistan post-2014.

Speaking at the signing event, President Ahmadzai stressed that endorsing these agreements do not and will not pose a threat to the neighboring countries.
In this episode of Farakhabar, host Yama Siawish discusses the topic with the following guests:

• Daoud Kalakani, MP

• Nazari Paryani, journalist

To watch the program, click here:

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TAWDE KHABARE: BSA and SOFA Signed

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 08:11

The crucial Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) and Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) have been signed by newly inducted National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar, U.S. Ambassador James B. Cunningham and NATO Ambassador to Afghanistan Maurits R. Jochems in Kabul at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday.

Within 24 hours of taking office, President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai has fulfilled his promises of signing both critical agreements, which will allow the presence of U.S. and foreign forces in Afghanistan post-2014.

In this episode of Tawde Khabare, host Shapoor Bakhtiyar discusses the topic with the following guests:

• Daoud Sultanzoy, Former MP

• Arif Sarwari, Former National Directorate of Security (NDS) chief

To watch the program, click here:

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Zakhilwal Appointed National Economy Advisor

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 07:36

President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai appointed Former Finance Minister Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal as the national economy advisor.

According to a statement by the presidential press office, Zakhilwal was appointed as both the national economy advisor and the acting minister of finance based on two separate presidential decrees.

The reason behind the second decree has been stated t‎o avoid standstill in the Ministry of Finance affairs.

On his first full day at office, newly-inaugurated President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai shuffled around some offices to appoint the new members of his administration.

Former Minister of Interior Mohammad Hanif Atmar was appointed as the new National Security Advisor, to replace Rangin Dadfar Spanta, and Faizullah Zaki was designated as head of the First Vice President's office.

The president also brought some changes to the Office of Administrative Affairs and Council of Ministers Secretariat with the Presidential Office, appointing Salam Rahimi in charge of the new section, with former Faryab MP Bashir Ahmad Tayyenj as his deputy.

Wasting no time, President Ahmadzai's inauguration ceremony on Monday itself included the biggest appointment so far, the naming of his election rival Abdullah Abdullah to the post of chief executive. But the announcements that followed on Tuesday seemed to further suggest that the new government will take shape quickly, and be built on a coalition.

U.S., British Strikes Seek to Reverse Jihadist Advances

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 05:42

Islamic State fighters were closing in Wednesday on a key Syrian town near the Turkish border, despite multiple US air strikes, as the Pentagon cautioned it "cannot bomb the militants into obscurity".

US warplanes launched multiple strikes against Islamic State jihadists in both Syria and Iraq Tuesday, as Britain carried out its first air raids against the group.

IS fighters closing in on a key town near the Turkish border were among the targets of nearly a dozen US air raids in Syria, the Pentagon said.

US warplanes also bombed IS in neighbouring Iraq as Kurdish forces launched attacks on three fronts in a bid to recapture ground lost to the group last month.

Britain said its jets had destroyed an IS heavy weapons post and a machine gun-mounted vehicle in the country's first air strikes against the group in Iraq.

IS fighters have captured large parts of Iraq and Syria, declaring an Islamic "caliphate" and committing a wide range of atrocities.

The Pentagon, appealing for patience, warned that there would by no quick and easy end to the fighting.

No one should be lulled into a false sense of security by accurate air strikes," Pentagon spokesman, Rear Admiral John Kirby, told reporters.

"We will not, we cannot bomb them into obscurity."

A long-term effort will be needed to train and arm Syrian rebel forces and strengthen Iraq's army, he said.

He said "military action alone will not win this effort".

The US Marine Corps plans to deploy 2,300 troops to the Middle East for a new "special purpose marine air ground task force" designed to quickly respond to crises in the volatile region, Kirby added.

The idea for the task force originated before the US air strikes against the Islamic State group and is not related "to the ongoing operations in Iraq," he said.

IS fighters Tuesday freed more than 70 Kurdish school children it abducted in northern Syria in May, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor.

It was not immediately clear why IS released the children, part of a group of about 153 students snatched after taking school exams.

- Turkey could enter fray -

The move came as IS fighters penetrated within two to three kilometres (as close as 1.2 miles) of the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab on the Turkish border, the Observatory said.

It was the closest the militants had come to the town, known as Kobane in Kurdish, since they began an advance nearly two weeks ago, sending tens of thousands of mostly Kurdish refugees fleeing across the border.

NATO member Turkey, after months of caution in the fight against IS, has decided to harden its policy, and the government asked parliament Tuesday to authorise military action against IS in Iraq and Syria.

Lawmakers are due to debate a motion Thursday that Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said would "meet all the demands and eliminate the risks and threats".

Turkey has remained tight-lipped about what its intervention will entail, but Arinc indicated the parliamentary mandate will be kept as broad as possible to allow the government freedom to decide.

In Iraq, Kurdish peshmerga forces battled to claw back land from jihadists, as US warplanes launched 11 strikes at several locations, destroying armed vehicles and IS positions.

They struck at the border town of Rabia, north of jihadist-controlled Mosul, and south of oil hub Kirkuk, commanders said.

They also attacked the town of Zumar, near the reservoir of Iraq's largest dam, which has been a key battleground between Kurds and jihadists.

Peshmerga spokesman Halgord Hekmat said IS had been ousted from 30 positions.

Kurdish officials said at least six peshmerga and police were killed, as well as an unknown number of jihadists.

Three car bombs killed at least 13 people and wounded 41 in Shiite-dominated neighbourhoods of the Iraqi capital Baghdad Tuesday, police and hospital sources said.

- US costs rise -

With the United States now conducting what it says are "near continuous" strikes in both Iraq and Syria, a Washington-based think-tank warned that the costs of the campaign could swiftly escalate.

US aircraft have flown more than 4,000 sorties since August, including surveillance flights, refuelling runs and bombing raids.

The Centre for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments estimated if attacks continue at a moderate level, the cost will run at between $200 million and $320 million a month, but if they are conducted at a higher pace the monthly cost could rise to as much as $570 million.

The UN says about 191,000 people have been killed since an uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad erupted in 2011, escalating into a war that brought jihadists flocking to the country.

The Observatory said at least eight people were killed Tuesday, among them four children, when regime helicopters dropped explosives-packed barrel bombs on northern Aleppo.

The number of Syrians in urgent need of food aid has shot up to more than six million, or more than one in four of the population, UN agencies said Tuesday.

Suicide Attack Targets ANA Vehicles in Kabul

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 03:48

Two suicide attacks targeted the Afghan National Army (ANA) in Kabul's Karte Sakhi and Da Sabz district on Wednesday morning, according to the Ministry of Interior (MoI) statement.

The first suicide bomber targeted an ANA bus in Karte Sakhi around 6 a.m. claiming the lives of seven ANA officers and a civilian and wounding 15 others among them six civilians and a traffic officer. 

According to the statement, the second blast took place around the same time as the first in Tangi Tarakhil area of Da Sabz district when a suicide bomber targeted ANA personnel with a Corolla injuring six ANA officers. 

The Taliban have claimed responsibility.

To watch the footage, click here:

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TOLOnews 6pm News 30 September 2014

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 18:28

Top news in this Bulletin:

The crucial Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) and Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) have been signed by newly inducted National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar, U.S. Ambassador James B. Cunningham and NATO Ambassador to Afghanistan Maurits R. Jochems in Kabul at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday.

To watch the whole bulletin, click here:

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Within 24 hours of taking office, President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai has fulfilled his promises of signing both critical agreements, which will allow the presence of U.S. and foreign forces in Afghanistan post-2014.

Battle Rages on in Sangin

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 17:36

Local tribal elders in Sangin district of southern Helmand province have accused Afghan police and military leaders of being too weak to fully defeat the militant threat in the area.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD), meanwhile, maintained that the situation is under control and that the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) are continuing to prevent the militants' advance.

The security situation in Helmand has been fragile for years, but over the past few months security threats - in Sangin especially - have reached a new peak. Hundreds of civilians and military personnel have lost their lives or been wounded and many more residents have displaced by the violence.

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) has not released the exact number of casualties, but stressed that the Taliban have been unable to occupy Sangin district, which is their presumed objective. The Sangin fight is just one of the major battlefields the Afghan security forces found themselves on over the course of this summer, as the Taliban launched coordinated offensives around the country.

"I must say that casualties have been suffered among civilians, security forces and the militants, and the battle continues, the militants were trying to get control of the district," MoI deputy spokesman Najibullah Danish said on Tuesday. "The Taliban were invested and with the support of Allah they failed and operations are underway for their suppression and to rid the district of their presence."

Nevertheless, local tribal elders and political figures have lashed out against the military and police leadership for their inability to neutralize the persistent dangers experienced by everday residents in Sangin.

"The claims of the Ministry of Defense are totally baseless and fake, because army leadership in the area isn't okay; the army had pledged to launch a joint clearance operation along with police and NDS forces, unfortunately, the army hasn't joined them, evern though a police commander and deputy governor are already present in the area," Helmand Provincial Council member Mohammad Hashim Alokozai said.

"We are very angry with the army leadership, we pay our tributes to the army personnel who sacrificed their lives in battle, but the army leadership doesn't work honestly," he added.

Tribal elder Mohammad Sediq Walizada has said the numbers of reinforcements reported by the military are not reflected on the battlefield. "Maybe the army and police forces are given directions to go to Sangin, perhaps they also consider their expenditures, but on the ground, there is no presence of army and the numbers remain only on paper."

The MoD has not budged from its line, expressing grief and concern for the district but maintaining that everything possible is being done to curtail the militants. "Our commando and striking forces are in the area, the situation is under control and operations by the national army continue in Sangin," MoD spokesman Gen. Zahir Azimi  assured.

Sangin district is thought to be a strategic location because it provides a gateway for southern Afghanistan to the provinces west of Helmand.

Senators Urge Ghani to Form Foreign Policy Agenda

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 17:25

Afghan Senators in Kabul on Tuesday called on the newly elected president, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, to take a clear stance on the Taliban and Pakistani military in order to address the most pressing security threats facing the country.
 
“Foreign policy has not been clarified yet, and this issue existed in the past too,” Senate Deputy Muhammad Alam Ayzadyar said. "We hope that the new government will set up a foreign policy regarding neighbor countries, the region and the world.”

The comments come just a day after Ashraf Ghani was inaugurated, but amid a Taliban offensive that has been waged for several months in different parts of Afghanistan. With relations between Kabul and Islamabad also at a low point, in part over the cross-border attacks by the Pakistani military, there are no doubt many foreign policy issues that will need to be grappled with in the near term.
 
Senator Gullalay Akbari said the Afghan people are desperate for peace and security, and he hopes Ghani brings stability to the country. But his fellow senators made it clear that the new president would need to take a firm stance to be successful.
 
 "If the situation goes on like this and the new government follows a policy of supplication, peace and security will never come to the country,” Senator Hadaitullah Rahai said.


The senators emphasized that resolving issues with neighboring countries would be the first step in the right direction for the new administration. “The government should make a better policy for the region and world especially for neighboring countries, which could be really helpful for the resolution of issues in Afghanistan,” Senator Ali Akbar Jamshid said.
 
Ghani’s inauguration speech on Monday largely focused around fighting corruption and reforming the judiciary. The National Assembly, however, seems to want to see the Presidential Palace give more attention to people’s concerns regarding insecurity.

President Ahmadzai Begins with Appointments

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 17:19

On his first full day in office, newly-inaugurated President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai shuffled around some offices and named important members of his administration.

Former Minister of Interior Mohammad Hanif Atmar was appointed as the new National Security Advisor, to replace Rangin Dadfar Spanta. And Faizullah Zaki was designated as the head of the First Vice President's office.

The president also decided to fuse the Office of Administrative Affairs and Council of Ministers Secretariat with the Presidential Office. He put Salam Rahimi in charge of the new section, with former Faryab MP Bashir Ahmad Tayyenj as his deputy.

Wasting no time, President Ahmadzai's inauguration ceremony on Monday itself included the biggest appointment so far, the naming of his election rival Abdullah Abdullah to the post of chief executive. But the announcements that followed on Tuesday seemed to further suggest that the new government will take shape quickly, and be built on a coalition.

The national unity government, as it is called, according to Ghani, will prioritize recovering the economy and fighting corruption. Although, with the NATO coalition withdrawing and the Taliban launching offensives around the country, it is likely security issues will be a top priority as well.

Members of the National Assembly have taken the opportunity since the inauguration to encourage their new president to follow through on promises made during his campaign and to support the vision of the people. "We demand the national unity government consider the aspirations of the people," MP Zekirya Barakzai said.

"The promises that the president made regarding the implementation of reforms, war on corruption and restoring security must be honored," Kabul MP Abdul Rauf Enami added.

Sources close to Abdullah say that he has already begun his work, based out of the Presidential Palace. Reportedly, a separate residence on the palace grounds has been re-purposed for the Chief Executive Office. Space for Abdullah's two deputies has been made in the Marmarin Palace.

What the BSA Entails for Afghanistan

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 14:30

The Kabul-Washington Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) was signed on Tuesday by the newly appointed Afghan National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar and U.S. Ambassador James B. Cunningham to "strengthen long-term strategic cooperation" between the two countries.

The 26-article agreement aims to promote "peace, security, and stability; strengthening state institutions; supporting Afghanistan's long-term economic and social development; and encouraging regional cooperation."

The U.S. emphasized, in the preamble, that they will not use Afghanistan as "a launching point" to target and attack other countries.

The combat mission of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) will conclude by the end of 2014. The BSA will allow the forces to continue an advisory role to train and assist the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).

The agreement's goal is to "increase security and stability by reducing tensions, uncertainty, and misunderstanding" as well providing a "framework for defense and security cooperation between the parties."

The first two articles in the accord clarify and define the terms used in the agreement and state the purpose and scope of the BSA.

Article three and six lay out that the constitution and laws of Afghanistan must be abided and the country's political independence and territorial integrity should not be threatened.

"The parties agree to cooperate to strengthen Afghanistan's defenses against such threats to its territorial integrity, sovereignty, or political independence," the agreement stated.

Article four emphasizes on developing and sustaining Afghanistan's defense and security capabilities.

"The United States shall have an obligation to seek funds on a yearly basis to support the training, equipping, advising, and sustaining of the ANSF so that Afghanistan can independently secure and defend itself against internal and external threats and help ensure that terrorists never again encroach on Afghan soil and threaten Afghanistan, the region, and the world."

Article 15 states that "members of the force and members of the civilian component may enter and exit Afghanistan at agreed facilities and areas...such personnel shall be exempt from Afghan law and regulations on registration and control of foreign citizens," noting that Afghanistan maintains the right to request the removal of any member of force or civilian components from the country.

In case a dispute surfaces, article 24 states that the parties should resolve disagreements between themselves and not refer to national or international, tribunals or any third party for settlement.

The BSA will be implemented January 1, 2015 and according to article 26, the agreement will be effective till the end of 2024 unless terminated by mutual agreement upon a two-year written notice.

To access the full document, click here:

http://mfa.gov.af/en/news/bsa

New Government Signs BSA and SOFA

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 11:40

The crucial Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) and Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) have been signed by newly inducted National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar, U.S. Ambassador James B. Cunningham and NATO Ambassador to Afghanistan Maurits R. Jochems in Kabul at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday.

Within 24 hours of taking office, President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai has fulfilled his promises of signing both critical agreements, which will allow the presence of U.S. and foreign forces in Afghanistan post-2014.

Speaking at the signing event, President Ghani stressed that endorsing these agreements do not and will not pose a threat to the neighboring countries.

"We [Afghanistan and the international community] face the same threats, which is why we have the same interests," Ghani said. "I thank [former] President Hamid Karzai for looking into all the details of these agreements."

He emphasized that the agreements have been approved by the Loya Jirga and added that, if needed, the terms of the agreements can be modified with the consideration of both sides.

"I assure the nation that these agreements are in our national interest."

Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, who also attended the event, addressed the audience stressing the same importance Ghani did stating that the authorization of the agreements do not pose threats to the neighboring countries.

He also added that before inking the accord that careful consideration was given to ensure that national interest is not compromised.

Both U.S. Ambassador Cunningham and NATO Ambassador Jochems thanked former National Security Advisor Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta on his efforts negotiating the agreements.

Cunningham said that the BSA is crucial to securing Washington's continued support to Afghanistan, emphasizing that the relations between the two countries are imperative.

"This agreement is not only important for Afghanistan, also for the region," Cunningham said at the event.

Jochems added that the NATO forces will play a non-combat advisory role to Afghanistan.

Late last year, neighboring countries Pakistan and Iran raised apprehensions on Afghanistan signing off on the BSA.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia and Pacific Affairs Ebrahim Rahimpour said early December 2013 that the BSA "will damage the Afghan government and national interest in the long-term."

During the same time Rahimpour publicized his opposition of the BSA, former Pakistani Ambassador to Afghanistan Rustam Shah Mumand asserted that "as long as the foreign troops stay in Afghanistan, relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan will not change for the better."

The security agreements will provide a legal framework for the U.S. and NATO's presence in Afghanistan post-2014.

ANSF Expected to Take Responsibility for Air-Control

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 11:07

The World Aviation has warned that if Afghanistan is not able to effectively take air control responsibilities from foreign troops and complete an air-traffic-control contract by mid-October, some of the largest airlines will stop their flights through the Afghan space, severely damaging the country's economy.

Since the collapse of the Taliban regime, foreign troops established air-control centers in the country's military and non-military airports. For the last 13 years, foreign troops were responsible for controlling all flight and air operations in the country.

The Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) will be handed the county's security responsibilities by the end of 2014 and are expected to take control of the air traffic as well.

According to the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation of Afghanistan, Daoud Ali Najafi, Afghanistan will be completely ready to take the responsibilities of air control before the end of 2014.

"In the beginning, we will work jointly with a contract company for a more practical training to add to our current training," he said, emphasizing that Afghanistan has a strategic location because European aircrafts have to pass across its space to go to South and East Asia.

Afghanistan currently earns an amount of $4.4 million a year—$120,000 a month—from foreign aircrafts in its space. The money is collected by the World Aviation and transferred to the Afghan Ministry of Finance (MoF).

First 100 Days: First Day of Work for President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 08:37

In this episode, host Omid Farooq takes a look at the first day of work for President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai with the following guests:

• Wais Ahmad Barmak, Afghan Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development
• Mubarez Rashidi, Minister of Counter Narcotics
• Qayoum Sajadi, MP

To watch the program, click here:

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New Vice Presidents Introduced to Office

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 07:53

President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai introduced his First and Second Vice Presidents, Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum and Sarwar Danish, to the vice presidency office on Tuesday morning in Kabul.

President Ghani emphasized that his vice presidents will play key roles in bringing reforms and maintaining the rule of law in the country.

The new VPs congratulated Ghani on his presidency and praised the work of their predecessors, former President Hamid Karzai's VPs.

Meanwhile, on his first day of office, President Ghani appointed former Minister of Interior Hanif Atmar as the National Security Council Advisor as a replacement for Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta. Atmar had served as the Minister of Education, Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development and the Minister of Interior at different times during Karzai's 13 year presidency.

Ashraf Ghani took oath into office and promised to preserve the Afghan Constitution during the inauguration ceremony on Monday in the nation's first democratic transfer of power. The ceremony took place at the Presidential Palace in Kabul with more than 1,400 national and international guests.

TAWDE KHABARE: Inauguration Ceremony of President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 07:17

In this episode of Tawde Khabare, host Shapoor Bakhtiyar discusses the inauguration ceremony of President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai with the following guests:

• Nahid Farid, MP
• Fatema Aziz, MP
• Mohammad Akram Khpalwak, Minister of Border and Tribal Affairs

To watch the program, click here:

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FARAKHABAR: 29 September 2014

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 07:05

The National Unity Government (NUG) has officially started after Monday's inauguration of President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.

To watch the program, click here:

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Taking oath into office, Ghani promised to bring changes to the government and asked the Taliban and Hezb-e-Islami to participate in political talks.

After the ceremony, he signed a document and inaugurated Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and his two deputies.

What challenges will the NUG face?

In this episode of Farakhabar, host Yama Siawish discusses the topic with the following guests:

• Abdul Hafiz Masnour, MP
• Amin Habibi, Political analyst

Taliban Shadow District Governor Arrested in Baghlan

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 06:25

Mawlawi Mamor, the Taliban shadow district governor of Doshi district of northern Baghlan province was captured with three other insurgents on Monday night in an Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) operation, local officials said on Tuesday.

One other insurgent was killed during the clash.

The operation began in Naw Nehad district of the province, acting Police Chief Abdul Rashid Bashir said.

"Mawlawi Mamor and three other insurgents were captured after an hour clash with the police," he said. "Other insurgents was killed in the clash."

The police chief added that Mawlawi Mamor was involved in the placing of roadside mines in the district and torching fuel tankers.

The Afghan police have also seized money and weapons during the operation, he added.

However, he did not provide details about the casualties of the police during the raid.

The Taliban have not yet commented about the incident.

TOLOnews 6 pm News 29 September 2014

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 18:15

Top news in this bulletin

Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, taking the oath to protect and preserve the Afghan Constitution, became the nation's first president to take office from his predecessor through a democratic transition.

To watch the bulletin, click here:

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BSA to be Signed on Tuesday

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 17:35

According to the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan James B. Cunningham, the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) will be signed in Kabul on Tuesday. The Kabul-Washington BSA will allow for the presence of the U.S. and foreign forces in Afghanistan post-2014.

"I will sign the BSA on behalf of the U.S.," Cunningham said. "The government of Afghanistan has not determined anyone to sign the security agreement, but a high authority rank will sign the security agreement on behalf of the Afghan government."

Ambassador Cunnigham said that the U.S. will help Afghanistan resolve its budget issues, adding, however, that no new financial assistance plan has been considered yet.

"There is no fresh finance, but we will focus on the issue of budget and what we can do is that we will pay some money now as we wanted to pay later and we discuss the issue with Ministry of Finance."

Furthermore, John Podesta, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, who came to Kabul to represent the U.S. at President Ahsraf Ghani Ahmadzai's inauguration ceremony, emphasized that the BSA will provide a legal framework for the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan.

"The BSA will provide a legal framework for the U.S to continue advisory, training and mobilizing of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) so the insurgents will not be able to use Afghanistan to attack the U.S.," Podesta stated, adding that he hopes the spirit of cooperation between President Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah stays the same.

Former President Hamid Karzai's decision not to sign the BSA provoked national and international criticism, which caused tensions between Kabul and Washington.

Both presidential candidates had pledged to sign the agreement upon election. The agreement is expected to be signed Tuesday now that President Ghani has officially been inaugurated into office.

The BSA is considered crucial in promoting the Kabul-U.S. relationship.