Afghan & U.S. military officials are briefing the media on joint military operations



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GMIC Newsletter Issue #18

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Joint Press Conference on 7th Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference - Security and Economic Connectivity towards a Strengthened Heart of Asia Region - Readout
30 November, 2017
Mr. Shah Hussain Murtazawi, Acting Spokesperson, Office of the President
Mr. Abdulrahimzai, Spokesperson, Ministry of Finance (MoF)
Mr. Qasim Rahimi, Spokesperson, Ministry of Transport (MoT)
Mr. Mahdi Rohani, Spokesperson, Ministry of Public Works (MoPW)
Main Summary:
Today, GMIC organized a joint press conference for Spokespersons to the President, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Public Works and Civil Aviation Authority to brief media on the President trip to Azerbaijan to attending the 7th Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process Conference that will takes place on 01 December, 2017.
Mr. Murtazawi opened the session saying that the aim of President Trip to Baku is to inaugurate and address the 7thHeart of Asia Ministerial Conference titled "Security and Economic Connectivity towards a Strengthened Heart of Asia Region".

Mr. Murtazai said that the 7th Heart of Asia Conference is an important regional platform for Afghanistan to continue dialogue and strengthen regional cooperation aimed at promoting stability, peace and prosperity in the Heart of Asia region as well as enhancing Afghanistan's connectivity with the entire region. Mr. Murtazawi continued that H.E President Ghani will sign 7 agreements with the President of Republic of Azerbaijan on below sectors at the sideline of the conference. 
1-    Agreement to Promote and Support Mutual Investment
2-    Agreement on Mutual Air Aviation Services
3-    Agreement on Security and Law Enforcement
4-    Agreement on Infrastructure and Transit Cooperation
5-    Agreement on Economic and Trade Cooperation
6-    Agreement on Mutual Cooperation on Custom
7-    Agreement on Higher Education Cooperation

Then the other spokespersons briefed around the importance of these agreements and projects in turn, saying that these projects will facilitate Afghanistan's access to global markets and strengthen connectivity in the region, increase abilities for handling cargos in a much shorter, faster, efficient and cost-effective ways, promote trade and transit, attract domestic and foreign investments, create job opportunities, improve custom procedures, facilitate opportunities for the Afghans to get expertise and trainings in the railway sector as well as reach Afghanistan towards one of its key foreign policy lines which is about connectivity and prosperity through boosting ties with the central Asian countries.

The 7th Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference and Istanbul Process is supported by wide range of countries and international and regional organizations with a view to integrating Afghanistan into the regional economy and reviving trade with its neighbors.

MRRD builds 500 schools
Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development has built 500 buildings for schools in Rural areas over the last three years. Akbar Rustami, MRRD’s spokesperson added at a press conference at GMIC on Saturday, that the ministry has also constructed 50 clinics for villagers in various parts of the country.
In addition, MRRD has implemented 41 thousand projects in areas such as provision of drinking water, irrigation, agriculture, transportation and health care for a total beneficiary of 12 million and 400 thousand villagers. According to Mr. Rustami, the implementation of MRRD projects has created 133 thousand jobs, 80 thousand of them for females.
In the current year, MRRD has covered 12 hundred villages under Citizens’ Charter program with a total cost of 40 million dollars. Spokesperson of the ministry added that MRRD plans to extend the Citizens’ Charter projects to 4 thousand more villages during next year.
MRRD has been one of the pioneer ministries in terms of budget spending and has successfully spent 79% of its development budget during 1396 fiscal year.
Executive Summary of MOD Regular Press Briefing - Readout
MG Waziri, MoD Spokesperson Complete Statement

Opening Statement
Greetings and Welcome Dear Journalists!
I would like to update you around the security situations first and then will respond to your questions:

ANDSF has 112 ongoing offensive operations against the enemies in 8 provinces. The Commando units also have conducted 117 offensive operations, 881 aircraft used to support the ANA forces. 16 night raid has been conducted by the air forces to support ANA including 172 direct targets on the enemies’ hideouts and as Result:.

•    416 Taliban and 18 Daesh were killed, 279 Taliban and 5 Daesh were injured, 20 Taliban were arrested.
•    11 Taliban commanders, 1 Daesh Commander were killed , popular commanders of the Taliban Who are killed are Humayun - Sher Agha - Qari Ehsanullah and Mavlawi Hashim.
•    11 hideouts of enemies , 3 weapons depots of enemies more than hundreds of heavy none weapons, 67 vehicles 72 Bikes were destroyed during clearance operations.

The Afghan National Army (ANA) engineering team have been able to detect, neutralize and destroy 115 mines around the country.
ANDSF operations in Nangarhar, Kapisa, Kunar, Paktia, Ghazni, Kandahar, Urozgan, Zabul, Badghis, Sare pul, Baghlan, Faryab, Balkh, Nimroz and Helmand provinces are rigorously going on and we will inform you regarding their achievements later.

Q/A Session
•    Reporter: There are reports that Taliban are using Russian-made weapons, is it true or not?
o    Mr. Waziri: these all are the enemies policy; in order, to damage the friendly relationships between the countries. It is easy to misuse the different marks of the countries in different weapons.
•    Reporter: How is the Durand Line’s situation?
o    Mr. Waziri: we do not accept the Durand Line and never had accepted. Government is waiting for the decision of people. Whatever, Afghan people decide government will stand behind them.
•    Reporter: Can you say how many Pakistani rockets were landed yesterday in Kunar Province?
o    Mr. Waziri:  it was around 100 rockets. I want to say to Pakistan that these rockets will worsen the relation of Afghanistan and Pakistan and have no any benefit. These rockets will just increase the sensitivity among the Afghanistan’s people.
•    Reporter: Is there any hope or any reaction by Pakistan to show they have stopped supporting terrorists in the region?
o    Mr. Waziri: No, still we have not seen any reaction of them to stop terrorist in the region. International communities have to put more pressure on Pakistan.
•    Reporter: how many insurgents were killed in Bala Bolok district of Farah province?
o    Mr. Waziri: we had a press release of it in our website though, but I can say that 5 insurgents were killed and 3 were wounded.
NATO Defense Ministers Meeting Press Conference - Readout 12 Nov,2017
  Speaker (s)
•    Acting Minister General Tariq shah Bahrami, MOD

Mr. Bahrami opened the conference greeting the journalists. He updated about the NATO defense ministers meeting. He said that, the participants discussed about the security situation in Afghanistan, the capabilities, challenges and needs of the Afghan armed forces, as well as bringing reforms and fighting corruption in the ANDSF.
He stressed, the meeting had positive massages as a result; 27 countries are agree to increase the size of NATO’s Resolute Support training mission in Afghanistan from around 13,000 to roughly 16,000 personnel. Defense Ministers from NATO Allies and partner nations also confirmed they will continue the fund of Afghan security forces until at least 2020.
He said, 29 NATO member states Defense Ministers agreed to put pressure on Pakistan to stop supporting terrorism, moreover; NATO member states once again reiterated on their commitments to support and strengthen ANDSF.
Resolute Support will continue their support to ANDSF through training, advising and assisting mission. NATO Defense Ministers agreed to adapt their command structure and boost Afghanistan troop levels as they will deploy 2 to 3 thousand more troops to Afghanistan in order to support ANDSF.
NATO asked for Afghanistan’s commitments for better governance, the rule of law, fighting corruptions, and protecting the rights of all Afghans, including women and girls.
He said that, on the sidelines of the Brussels meeting he discussed the threats of the terrorist groups with the German Minister of Defense, whose mission is to cover the north and northeastern parts of the country.
“On the sidelines of the Brussels meeting I met with the US Secretary General, UK, and Italian Defense Ministers separately.” Mr. Bahrami said.

Q/A Session

•    Kabul News Reporter: NATO defense Ministers meeting held so far, can you brief us that what is now the specific plan of Afghan Ministry of defense to control the security situation in Afghanistan?
o    Mr. Bahrami: Unfortunately, in the last 7-months, the terrorist attacks have increased especially on ANDSF as a result; 13% in these months and 11% the attacks have increased from last year; on the other hand, we have massive attacks on terrorists too. The problem is that they are using different technics to blast themselves but we have found their technics completely and we will avoid them to reach their goals as we yesterday arrested a motor bomb in Nawah district of Helmand.

•    Reporter: There are reports about the causalities of civilians in Kapisa province? Can you clear it?
o    Mr. Bahrmai: As far as I know, no civilian causalities were included but we will evaluate the causalities. 

•    Reporter: As one of the agenda points in NATO defense ministries meeting was to put pressure on Pakistan to stop supporting terrorists in region and Afghanistan, how much are you hopeful this can be implemented?
o    Mr. Bahrami: As I found the meeting positive and it had clear massages to Pakistan in order to stop their supports to terrorism again we are hopeful about the practical results. 

•    Reporter: Mr. Hekmatyar said that the war in this country is between two nations, what do you want to add?
o    Mr. Bahrami: After his words reflected in social media, some two days later he said that he was not able to convey his massages in the correct way. For ANDSF this fight is about securing the country and protecting our nation.

•    Reporter: Currently the war is increasing inside Afghanistan, why are not US troops attacking to hideout of terrorists in Pakistan?
o    Mr. Bahrami: The governments cannot take decisions in this regard. Regional and international actors have to decide about this.
•    Reporter: as you said that you talked with the German Minister of Defense, whose mission is to cover the north and northeastern parts of the country but recently President said that the security situation of north and northeastern parts of the country will be better, what do you add on that?
o    Mr. Bahrami: yes, it is presidents’ order to implement the security plan in the north parts of the country.