President Ghani meets Iranian counterpart in China

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani met with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the SCO summit in China, discussed expansion of bilateral ties.

Presidential Palace in a statement said that the meeting of the two leaders took place in Chinese port city of Qingdao on Saturday.

In the meeting, the two leaders emphasized expansion of bilateral political and economic relations as well as joint efforts against international terrorism and drug trafficking.

“The presidents of both countries assessed the economic and trade relations as positive and stressed on the continuation of economic cooperation,” the statement said. 

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Provincial police chief: Iran supports Taliban in Farah

After Taliban large-scale attack over Farah province in west of Afghanistan, the provincial police commander says the attack over the province was organized in Iran.

According to the provincial police chief, more than two thousand militants from neighboring provinces were involved in the attack over the city and the attackers aimed to establish a stronghold in the strategic province after being collapsed.

“Farah is valuable for Iran. Iran is funding and providing equipment for the Taliban fighters in the province,” said Fazel Ahmad Shirzad the provincial police chief.

Meanwhile, provincial governor Baseer Salangi said the militants are staging attacks repeatedly since three months, but they have failed to reach to their goal.

Farah is among the volatile provinces in west of Afghanistan and the Taliban insurgent group is actively operating in Anar Dara, Bala Buluk, Pusht Road, Khak Safid, Gulistan, and Shibkoh districts of the province in recent years.

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Iran eases border process for Afghan traders

Afghan and Iran officials have agreed to drop tariffs and scrap the bank guarantee letter system at Iranian borders for Afghan businesses.

At the sixth Joint Economic Meeting between Afghanistan and Iran, officials of both nations agreed that Afghan goods trucks can cross into Iran without having to present bank guarantee letters.

In addition, border tariffs will also decrease.

Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) officials on Monday said both sides recognize the need to implement the World Road Association agreement and to lower transit costs.

According to MoCI officials, the drop in tariffs will hopefully increase exports from Afghanistan to Iran and to India and Gulf countries.

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Over 12,000 Afghan Citizens in Pakistan, Iran Jails

More than 7,000 Afghans are in Pakistani jails while 5,124 more are in prisons in Iran, the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation said on Thursday.

Sayed Hussain Alemi Balkhi, Minister of Refugees and Repatriation said that the exact numbers of Afghans in Pakistani jails are not clear yet but currently, there are 7,000 Afghans are in prisons in Pakistan.

Recently, more than 600 Afghan prisoners have been transferred to Afghanistan from Iran, where they will complete the remaining judicial processes in accordance to the Afghan laws.

The prisoners have been transferred to Afghanistan based on the government’s signed agreement to exchange prisoners with Iran.

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Afghans line up for Iranian visas in Herat

Hundreds of Afghans are lining up outside the Iranian consulate in the western province of Herat to get visas every day.

TOLOnews’ correspondent Samim Faramarz who has visited the consulate reports that up to 2,500 Afghans visit the Iranian consulate in Herat on a daily basis in the hope of getting visas. Once they have visas they try to get work in Iran.

Last week Iranian embassy officials in Afghanistan announced some changes for issuing visas to Afghan nationals.

Iranian embassy also stopped the 300 Euro cash guarantee for Afghan applicants.

“I have received a one year labor visa,” said one applicant Abdullah.

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Tehran is sending Afghan immigrant’s children to Syria war

Afghan Foreign Affairs Ministry expressed concern regarding the Afghan refugees’ situation in Iran, urged Tehran to stop sending Afghan immigrants to Syria war.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Sunday reported that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has recruited Afghan immigrant children living in Iran to fight in Syria.

“Afghan children as young as 14 have fought in the Fatemiyoun division, an exclusively Afghan armed group supported by Iran that fights alongside government forces in the Syrian conflict. Under international law,” the report said. “Recruiting children under the age of 15 to participate actively in hostilities is a war crime.”

The Deputy Spokesman for Foreign Ministry, Sebghatullah Ahmadi confirmed the Human Rights Watch report and said: “We are concerned in regard and we urge Iran to prevent and stop sending Afghan refugees to Syria war, whether it is based on voluntary or by force.”

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Number Of Return Refugees Drops To 50 Percent

The number of Afghan refugees who return home from Pakistan and European countries has decreased to 50 percent this year – compared with the same period of last year, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.

Meanwhile, the IOM statistics indicate that the number of return refugees from Iran has reduced to 25 percent – 50 percent of them were deported.

More than 87,000 Afghan refugees have returned home from Pakistan since January, the IOM says, while 167,000 Afghan refugees returned to the country in the same period in 2016.

Also, over 280,000 refugees have returned home from Iran since the beginning of this year, the IOM statistics show.

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Hekmatyar slams Iranian President for his remarks regarding construction of water dams

The leader of Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin hekmatyar slammed the Iranian President for his remarks regarding the construction of water dams in Afghanistan.

Speaking during a press conference in Kabul, Hekmatyar said no one has the right to give orders or warn the Afghan people.

Hekmatyar further added that no one has the right to interfere in the internal affairs of Afghanistan, urging Iran to respect the water treaty between the two nations.

According to Hekmatyar, such remarks are considered as a threat and urged the Iran to cooperate with Afghanistan as a good neighbor.

In the meantime, Hekmatyar urged the neighboring countries of Afghanistan, specifically Iran and Pakistan, to play their role in helping the Afghan government to ensure peace in Afghanistan.

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Karzai: Afghanistan Would Be Used As Substrate to Shift Terrorism into Russia

The former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai in a special Interview with ArianaNews said US wants to use Afghanistan as substrate to shift terrorism into Russia.

He said, “US wants to expand terrorism into Russia by using Afghanistan as substrate.”

Further he went on and demanded the Afghan government to change its foreign relations with the countries that means US should accept its failure in Afghanistan and leave the country; Afghan government should choose Russia, China, India and Iran as allies for ending war in Afghanistan.

“National Unity Government (NUG) should hold clear stance against USA and have United States government to fulfill its commitments specially the exceed of Pakistan, help Afghanistan with reality, or else United States of America should sit aside, and leave us alone so that we could stabilize Afghanistan with the regional countries, Russia, China cooperation.” Former President Hamid Karzai said.

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Iran’s Chabahar Port Of Vital Importance For Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Mahmoud Balighi said Iran’s Chabahar port was of critical importance for his country.

Speaking to IRNA on Sunday, he said: “The port which is situated in southeastern Iran is of very vital significance for Afghanistan and regional trade.”

He also said the planned five-party railway link is also important for Afghanistan as it passes through Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and China and then travels to Turkey thus connecting all these countries to Europe.

He said the railway which will run for 1,100 km inside Afghanistan will further facilitate access of Afghan businessmen to Chabahar port.

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