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Saturday 19 September 2020
 Kabul Local Time
29 Sunbula 1399, 08:53 PM

KABUL – A ceremony on the occasion of the Nineteenth Anniversary of the Martyrdom of National Hero Ahmad Shah Massoud and Martyrs’ Week was held at Afghanistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs on September 17, 2020.

His Excellency Amrullah Saleh, First Vice President, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, Mohammad Haneef Atmar Ministry of Foreign Affairs, honorable Ahmad Wali Massoud, President of the Martyr Ahmad Shah Massoud’s Foundation, cabinet members, ambassadors and representatives of countries and a group of national, political and jihadi personalities attend the event.

At the outset, His Excellency Mohammad Hanif Atmar, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, expressed his condolences to the participants on the occasion of the week of martyrs’ and the nineteeth anniversary of the martyrdom of the National Hero of the country. He said that the commemorative event provided the opportunity to highlight the achievements, honors and goals of the martyrs and protect their sacred ideals.

He stressed the preservation of common values and the achievements of the last 19 years, achieved through the sacrifices of the courageous and peace-loving people of our country in peace talks.

Mr. Ahmad Wali Massoud, the head of the Martyr Ahmad Shah Massoud’s Foundation, spoke about peace and war from the perspective of the national hero, stating that, although the national hero spent most of his struggle in battle and resistance, and was recognized as a resilient warrior overseas; But he never believed in war and its continuation. National Hero was thirsty for peace, stability and tranquility of his country and people.

Subsequently, His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, prayed for the souls of the country's anonymous and known martyrs and expressed his condolences to their families. He spoke about national hero's efforts in seeking a peaceful solution to end the war. He added that the National Hero was fascinated by the peace, stability and tranquillity of his country, and while leading the resistance against the invaders, he also used every opportunity to bring peace to the country.

In closing, His Excellency Amrullah Saleh, the First Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, referring to the life, uprising, struggle and martyrdom of the National Hero, called him a moderate Muslim, believer in human and Islamic values, kind and humble. He never thought of imposing his ideas on others and was the first among the leaders and commanders of the Mojahedin to speak about democracy and free elections, human rights and women's rights, and emphasized the formation of a government that would be formed as a result of the free votes of the people.

The ceremony ended with prayers for the souls of the country's martyrs.

KABUL – Afghanistan welcomes the UN Security Council’s decision to extend the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) for another year.  We would like to thank all of the member states that voted positively for this motion.

UNAMA has played an instrumental and positive role in garnering international support for the peace talks in Afghanistan. UNAMA has used its platform to call for, alongside the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, on the to work towards an end state of the peace talks where the republic, fundamental rights of all, specially women and minorities, are safeguarded and enhanced.

The Government and people of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan vows to continue to work to pursue permanent, comprehensive ceasefire and an inclusive political settlement. Afghan Government would like to, once again, join the voices of its international partners and echoing the

UN Security Council 2532 on humanitarian ceasefire to help aid reach those effected by COVID-19.

The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall render all of its assistance to UNAMA to ensure the successful conclusion of its mission, which are at the best interest of the Afghan people’s developmental, and socio-political progress.

 
 

KABUL – Acting Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Mohammad Haneef Atmar, held a telephone conversation with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

The Afghan Acting Foreign Minister expressed gratitude for Iran's continued assistance to Afghanistan in various areas, including the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. Discussing the significant role of neighboring countries, especially Iran, in the successful outcome of peace talks, Mr. Atmar called on Iran to support the legitimate plea of the Afghan people and government for violence reduction and an immediate ceasefire.

The Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, while commending the start of Afghanistan Peace Negotiations in Doha, reaffirmed Iran's full support for the process. Mr. Zarif stated that the Islamic Republic of Iran would spare no effort to ensure a successful outcome for the peace talks.

Both sides stressed the importance of building a regional and global consensus and ensuring close cooperation among neighboring countries in support of peace talks, violence reduction, and an immediate ceasefire. The two sides further discussed bilateral cooperation in political, economic, and security spheres, finalization of the comprehensive document on strategic cooperation between the two countries, and the Khaf-Herat railway project.

Referring to economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, Minister Atmar assured his Iranian counterpart that progress was being made on finalizing the comprehensive document of Strategic Cooperation between the two countries and the implementation of the Khaf-Herat railway project.

 

KABUL – Mohammad Haneef Atmar, Acting Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, met with Mr. Bahadur Aminian, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Kabul.

At the outset, the Acting Foreign Minister thanked the Islamic Republic of Iran for supporting the start of Afghanistan peace negotiations and Iran’s comprehensive cooperation with Afghanistan, especially in supporting Afghan refugees living in that country. Mr. Atmar also appreciated the Iranian government for facilitating the process of identification, distribution of electronic ID card and machine-readable passports for Afghan refugees in Iran. 

Subsequently, the two sides discussed the latest developments in Afghanistan including peace talks between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban, the importance of a regional consensus on the end state of the peace process, the need for violence reduction and an immediate ceasefire, strengthening the Islamic Republic and preserving the achievements of the past 19 years. They also stressed on enhancing economic, political and cultural ties between the two countries.

The Iranian Ambassador reassured the Afghan Foreign Minister of his country's continued commitment and support to the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process, the preservation of the Islamic Republic and the achievements of the past 19 years.

KABUL - Acting Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar introduced today former Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Cooperation, Mirwais Nab, as the new Political Deputy Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

In a ceremony held at the Protocol Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Acting Foreign Minister spoke about Mr. Nab's professional abilities, work experience, and commitment and congratulated him on the well-deserved appointment.

Mr. Atmar added that the decision of His Excellency the President sends an important message to the career diplomats and professionals of the Foreign Ministry that the path to growth and promotion is open, and that the new decisions are based on the ministry's professional needs and priorities.

The new Deputy Foreign Minister expressed his deep gratitude to H.E. President Ashraf Ghani and Foreign Minister Hanif Atmar for entrusting him with a great responsibility in the current critical situation.

Discussing reform agendas, Mr. Nab maintained that the recent achievements were the result of teamwork and collaboration between leadership and devoted staff of the Ministry. He called for keeping up the good work and continuing on the path of reform.

KABUL – Acting Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar met with the French Ambassador to Kabul, Mr. David Martinon, today.

At the outset, the Foreign Minister thanked the people and the Government of France for their continued cooperation over the past two decades.

The two sides discussed the latest developments in the peace process, including the need for immediate start of negotiations between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GoIRA) and the Taliban, reduction of violence, the need for a humanitarian ceasefire, and the importance of preserving the achievements of the last 19 years.

The French Ambassador expressed optimism about the progress made between the GoIRA and the Taliban in preparing for the peace talks. He reiterated his government's full support for the peace process and maintaining the achievements of the past 19 years, including the Islamic Republic and the democratic rights and freedoms of the Afghan citizens.

The two sides also discussed potential opportunities for capacity building programs for Afghan diplomats at French institutions.

Both sides stressed the need to expand and strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries. Ambassador Martinon assured Minister Atmar of his country's continued cooperation with Afghanistan.

KABUL – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan welcomes the statement issued by the Heads of Mission of the European Union and Canada in Kabul on the imminent peace talks between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban.  

The statement rightly identifies the historic opportunity that these talks represent. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is fully intending to seize the opportunity to end the conflict through negotiations.

Furthermore, the Afghan Government is entering these talks with a spirit of goodwill and constructive intent, as evident in the release of the Taliban prisoners, which the statement recognizes as a goodwill gesture to build confidence, that goes beyond the Afghan Government’s obligations.

Reiterating the call made in the statement, the Afghan Government urges the Taliban to reciprocate by agreeing on a ceasefire and agree to an immediate reduction of violence. 

The Government of Afghanistan shares the vision for an end state of peace talks where all Afghans, women and men, continue to thrive with their fundamental rights intact. 

Afghanistan would like to thank the EU and other friendly nations for their unwavering support to the peace process in Afghanistan.

KABUL – Acting Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar had a telephonic conversation with his Pakistani counterpart Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi today.

At the outset, the Acting Foreign Minister expressed his happiness for the full recovery of Pakistani Foreign Minister from COVID-19 and wished him good health.

The Pakistani Foreign Minister congratulated his Afghan counterpart on the successful holding of the second review meeting of Afghanistan–Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS), which was held on August 31, 2020 in Kabul. He added that “fortunately the APAPPS meeting has made good progress and both the countries need to work towards full implementation of their commitments.” 

The Afghan Acting Foreign Minister termed APAPPS a crucial platform for promoting cooperation and understanding between the two nations and assured Mr. Qureshi that Afghanistan was fully committed to both the mechanism and the decisions made during this round of APAPPS meeting.

Mr. Atmar also thanked Pakistan for playing an active role in the Afghan peace process and for supporting the peace talks between the government of IRoA and the Taliban. Minister Atmar discussed the need for achieving a peace that is sustainable and which leads to preserving the democratic achievements of the last 19 years.

While reiterating his government’s support for a peaceful settlement of the Afghan conflict, Foreign Minister Qureshi discussed Pakistan’s recent moves for improving transit and trade including the decision to upgrade Ghulam Khan crossing point as the third transit route between the two countries.

Minister Atmar hoped that Ghulam Khan crossing serve as a new official transit route and increase trade and transit between the two countries. The Afghan Acting Foreign Minister also discussed his vision for multilateral cooperation at regional level involving Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asian countries.

Both sides discussed and emphasized the need for enhancing regional connectively through rail-way projects, economic investments, and developing infrastructure that connects the region.

Minister Atmar thanked the Pakistani government for continued hosting of the Afghan refugees and assisting them during the COVID-19 pandemic. The two sides also exchanged views on dignified and gradual return of Afghan refugees from Pakistan to Afghanistan.

KABUL – Acting Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar spoke with his Australian counterpart, H.E. Marise Payne, today.

Minister Atmar thanked the people and Government of Australia for their development and humanitarian cooperation over the past 19 years with Afghanistan.

The two sides exchanged views on the latest developments in the peace process including the removal of obstacles and the need for the immediate start of negotiations between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban, the reduction of violence and establishment of humanitarian ceasefire.

The Australian Foreign Minister commended the Afghan Government for its efforts to start negotiations with the Taliban, and assured Mr. Atmar of her government’s support of the Afghan owned and Afghan led peace process.

KABUL – Acting Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar met with the Deputy Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Sohaill Mahmood, in Kabul earlier today.

Mr. Mahmood is heading a 40-member high-level delegation comprised of various Pakistani governmental institutions visiting Kabul to attend the meeting of “Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity” (APAPPS).

Welcoming Mr. Mahmood and his entourage, the Foreign Minister emphasized the strong will of the Afghan government to expand bilateral relations with Pakistan in various fields. The two sides also discussed expanding military and security cooperation between the two countries.

The Afghan Foreign Minister underlined the need for cessation of rocket shellings into different parts of Afghanistan along the Durand line. Furthermore, the Foreign Minister called on the Pakistani side to stop the arbitrary construction of facilities along the Durand line to keep the crossings open.

Minister Atmar shared his views with the Pakistani delegation on regional connectivity, trade and transport development, extension of the Hairatan-Kabul-Peshawar and Hairatan-Herat-Kandahar-Quetta railways.

The Acting Foreign Minister also expressed his gratitude to Pakistan for hosting the Afghan refugees, saying that the Afghan government is working on long-term plans to facilitiate the voluntary and dignified return of the refugees to their homeland.

The Pakistani Deputy Foreign Minister assured Minister Atmar about the strong will of the Pakistani leadership to strengthen and expand bilateral relations, and declared his country's full support for the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process and the immediate start of peace talks.

Later, the second meeting of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPS) commitments was convened at the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, co-chaired by Mirwais Nab and Sohaill Mahmood, Deputy Foreign Ministers of the two countries. The meeting is expected to assess the commitments of the previous meeting of the Action Plan, which was held in Pakistan last year, focusing on five separate areas of politics and diplomacy,  defense, security, economy and refugees.

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