Afghan Gov’t ‘issued passports’ for members of Taliban’s office in Qatar

Afghanistan’s High Peace Council  (HPC)  says the government has issued passports for the members of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar as part of the efforts to boost peace process with the group.

The council’s spokesman Sayed Ehsan Tahiri told Ariana News that recently,  the head of Taliban’s Qatar office Sher Mohammad Abas Stanekzai with a delegation of the group had traveled to Uzbekistan and Indonesia with Afghan passport.

According to HPC,  Abas stanekzai’s travel to Uzbekistan took place in  early August and his travel to Indonesia was between 12-15 August.  The Taliban in a statement said that the group’s delegation met with Vice President and Foreign Minister of Indonesia and spoke about their future plans on peace.

The HPC spokesman further said that the Taliban delegation’s recent visits including to Uzbekistan were aimed at facilitating peace talks. “They traveled with Afghan passports in coordination with the Afghan government,” Tahiri said.

The Taliban spokesman said the type of Afghan passport as the Taliban delegation were being offered with was confidential.  But close figures to the Taliban said that the group has no limitation to obtain Afghan passport.

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Khodjaev reaffirm $500m commitment to build Mazar-Herat railway track

The head of Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Foreign Trade Jamshid Khodjaev has said Uzbekistan is committed to invest $500 million on the construction of railway track from Mazari Sharif city to Herat province.

Khodjaev reaffirmed Uzbekistan’s commitment during a meeting President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and said the technical teams of the two countries should start work on a time schedule for the start of the works.

Calling Afghanistan an important partner of Uzbekistan in transport and transit sector, Khodjaev said the relations between the two countries grow as each day passes, noting a 19 per cent increase in trade between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan in 2017 while a 15 increase until May of 2018.

He also added that Uzbekistan is keen to invest on cement extraction and production in Afghanistan and efforts are underway to provide visa facilities to the Afghan traders as well as investment opportunities in Termiz Cargo Center.

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Uzbekistan cuts electricity tariffs for Afghanistan

An additional 1,000 megawatts of power will also be exported from Uzbekistan to Afghanistan which will help resolve power shortages.

In a meeting with Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday, Uzbekistan’s Special Representative to Afghanistan Ismatilla Irgashev said his country has decided to reduce the electricity prices from the current 8.5 cents a unit to 5 cents a unit.

“Ismatilla Irgashev, Uzbekistan’s special envoy to Afghanistan in his meeting with the president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan pledged to reduce the current 8.5 cents electricity price to 5 cents and the new prices will come in to effect from July,” the presidential palace said in a statement on Monday.

According to the statement, another 1,000 megawatts of power will come through Uzbekistan’s Surkhan region to Baghlan province to Kabul, which will help overcome electricity shortages.

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HPC: Uzbekistan ready to open political office for Taliban

Uzbekistan has shown readiness to open a political office for the Taliban militant group in its soil, Sayed Ihsan Tahri Spokesman of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council (HPC) said Wednesday.

He added that the government of Afghanistan is also ready to provide the facility for peace talks to the insurgent group in any country across the world.

On March 26, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev told in “Tashkent Peace Conference on Afghanistan” that his country is ready to host peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

But a member of Afghan parliament believes that the Central Asian countries are trying to open an office for the Taliban insurgents in order to use them as a tool against Daesh militants.

“The [offer] could be an excuse to make a deal with the Taliban and this can be a reaction against the so-called Daesh movement,” MP Sadeqi Nilizada said.

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Tashkent to Hold Peace Summit On Afghanistan

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will open a high-level international conference on Afghanistan – “Peace Process, Cooperation in the Sphere of Security and Regional Interaction” – in Tashkent later this month, Uzbekistan’s media reported.

According to, the conference will take place on March 26 and 27, and will be held in the country’s capital Tashkent.

High-ranking officials are expected to attend including UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres and the UN Special Envoy to Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, as well as the foreign ministers of China, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Turkey, India, Iran, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, reported.

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Chief of defense conference held in Kabul

The Chief of Defense (CHOD) conference held on Monday in Kabul, aiming to discuss and bargain on counter-terrorism and narcotics in the region.

The army chiefs of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan attended the summit and talked over several regional issues, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said.

“Our demand from other partners in the conference was to take a joint position against Pakistan that supports terrorism and jointly press Islamabad to stop supporting and sponsoring terrorism,” said Dawalat Waziri, spokesman of MoD.

The Afghan government is said to believe that extremism and supporting terrorism become a part of Islamabad’s foreign policy that cannot be changed.

“It would be impossible to have an honest partner in fight against terrorism as long as Pakistan uses this policy,” Tamana Farmarz, head of the foreign ministry’s strategic studies said.

Afghan politicians have always expected Pakistan to change its strategy in fight against terrorism.

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