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Karzai Wants to Sign BSA: Daudzai

KABUL - The Afghan Minister of Interior Affairs Mohammad Umar Daudzai in a joint press conference on Saturday said that the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) is to the benefit of both Afghanistan and the United States and President Hamid Karzai wants to sign it. His comment comes as Karzai has remained firm on his conditions for signing of the BSA, but Daudzai urged the Unites States to send a delegation t ...

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Afghanistan Needs Positive Support of Neighbours: India

NEW DELHI - Afghanistan is going through critical juncture in its history and the war-battered country requires the constructive support of its neighbours. These views were expressed by Indian Foreign Secretary SmtSujatha Singh at Senior Official’s Meeting (SOM), Istanbul Process (Heart of Asia) held in New Delhi the other day. He told the gathering that the Istanbul/Heart of Asia process was an important c ...

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UN Staff, IMF Official among 21 Dead in Kabul Attack

KABUL - Four United Nations (UN) employees and a senior International Monetary Fund (IMF) official were among 21 people killed during last night’s group suicide attack on a restaurant in Kabul, officials said. A three-member suicide squad launched the brazen attack on a Lebanese restaurant frequented by foreigners in the Wazir Akbar Khan diplomatic district in downtown Kabul at 7:20pm, a busy dining time. O ...

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Assurance on Election Security amid Increased Violence

Afghan officials assured on Saturday that the Afghan forces will be able to provide security for the vast majority of polling stations in the forthcoming presidential elections. The officials who have provided a plan for security arrangements for the upcoming elections to the electoral authorities is ensuring has also said that more than four hundred polling centers would remain closed due to insecurity. Th ...

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HIA to Name Preferred Presidential Candidate Soon

KABUL: The Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) led by GulbadinHekmatyar would soon announce a decision on supporting a particular candidate in the April presidential election, a senior leader of the faction said on Tuesday.QariburRahmanSaeed, the HIA former spokesman and the faction’s political and peace jirga head in Europe, told Pajhwok Afghan News the HIA would support a candidate “better suited to the party ...

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Japan’s Koizumi Backs Fellow Ex-PM in Opposing Nuclear Power

Tokyo - Two former Japanese prime ministers challenged incumbent Shinzo Abe's pro-nuclear power policy on Tuesday, with charismatic Junichiro Koizumi backing ex-premier Morihiro Hosokawa's bid to become Tokyo governor on a platform opposing atomic energy. Hosokawa's candidacy could turn the local election into a referendum on Abe's energy policies and boost the anti-nuclear movement, which has lost momentum ...

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Erdogan Says Turkish Corruption Probe ‘Black Stain’ on Democracy

Ankara - Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan described a corruption investigation shaking his government as a "black stain on Turkey's democratic history" on Tuesday and a worse betrayal than any of the military coups of past decades. Addressing members of his ruling AK Party in parliament, Erdogan said the corruption investigation was being driven by outside forces opposed to Turkey's assertive foreign policy an ...

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China’s Xi Warns of Grim Fight against Corruption

Beijing - Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday the fight against corruption was grim and complicated but nevertheless, it had to be solved quickly with "drastic medicine". Xi, in lengthy remarks to the ruling Communist Party's anti-graft watchdog, echoed comments he has made before and stressed the importance he has placed on tackling official abuse, which is a major source of public discontent. Xi ...

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Israel Defense Minister Says Kerry Messianic, Obsessive: Paper

Jerusalem - Israel's defense minister called U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's quest for Israeli-Palestinian peace "messianic", a newspaper said on Tuesday, reporting what it described as remarks made behind closed doors. Moshe Yaalon's spokesman declined comment on the account in Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel's biggest-selling newspaper. "Secretary of State John Kerry - who has come to us determined and is a ...

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U.N. Feeds Record 3.8 Million in Syria But Concerned by Malnutrition

New York - The U.N.'s World Food Programme (WFP) delivered rations to a record 3.8 million people in Syria in December, but civilians in eastern provinces and besieged towns near the capital remain out of reach, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday. The agency voiced concern at reports of malnutrition in besieged areas, especially of children caught up in the nearly three-year-old civil war, and called for greater ...

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Obama Has Faith in his Afghan Strategy

WASHINGTON: Defending his Afghanistan’s strategy, which he asserted has been successful so far, US President Barack Obama on Monday said the US would continue a significant presence in the region for the years to come.“We’re going to continue to have significant interest in the region for years to come,” said Obama told a joint news conference with his Spanish counterpart. The president defended his Afghan ...

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Hikmatyar’s Surprise Shift

In a momentous turnover, Gulbuddin Hikmatyar, the leader of Hizb-e Islami party called on his followers and party members to take part in the upcoming presidential and provincial council elections in Afghanistan. Hikmatyar’s Hizb-e Islami militants have been fighting US-led NATO and Afghan security forces after the overthrow of Taliban regime in 2001. His surprise and contradictory move is coming after his ...

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MTN Opens New Branch in Gulbahar Business Center

Kabul- On November 18, 2013, MTN Afghanistan’s newest branch opened in Gulbahar Business Center in Malik Azghar Square. As the 15th branch in Kabul, it is a reflection of MTN’s strong business growth in Afghanistan and a result of its strategic goal to provide easy access to its customers, wherever they may be. Gulbahar Business Center is currently one of the major malls and business centers situated in the ...

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MPs Condemn Hunting Rare Birds by Arabs

KABUL - Some MeshranoJirga members on Sunday strongly criticised hunting of endangered and rare birds, saying a number of Arab citizens had arrived in western Afghanistan to campaign for a particular presidential candidate under the pretext of hunting expedition.Reportedly some Arab guests have arrived in western Herat province for hunting rare birds, which is banned under a presidential decree. The report ...

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North Yemen Strife Has Killed at Least 210, Salafis Say

Sana’a - At least 210 people have been killed in two months of fighting between Shi'ite Muslim Houthis and ultra-conservative Sunni Salafis in northern Yemen, a Salafi spokesman said on Monday.  The violence erupted on October 30 when the Houthi rebels who control much of the northern Saada province accused Salafis in the town of Damaj of recruiting thousands of foreign fighters to prepare to attack them. T ...

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China Can Avoid Japan-Style Property Bubble: Official

Beijing - China's policy fine-tuning and ongoing urbanization can help it to avoid a Japan-style property bubble, a senior housing official said, amid fears a housing market crash could lead to a hard landing for the world's second-largest economy. Beijing has allowed local governments to take differentiated property tightening measures, rather than a one-size-fits-all bid to cool the market, Vice Housing M ...

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No Resistance as Crowds Occupy Thai Capital in Festive Protest

Bangkok - Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters occupied parts of central Bangkok on Monday, ratcheting up a two-month agitation to force the resignation of Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and meeting no resistance. Police and soldiers maintained a low profile as the "Shutdown Bangkok" drive got under way in the city of about 12 million people. The mood was festive, with many protesters si ...

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South Sudan Crisis: US Envoy Meets Rebel Leader Machar

Khartoum - Efforts to broker a ceasefire in South Sudan have continued with a US special envoy and other mediators meeting the rebel leader, Riek Machar. Special envoy Donald Booth met Mr Machar at an undisclosed location in South Sudan. He said later mediators would continue to press for the release of jailed associates of Mr. Machar for them to attend peace talks in Ethiopia. A rebel spokesman said a ceas ...

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Syria Crisis: U.S and Russia Discuss Possible Ceasefires

Paris - The US and Russia have discussed the possibility of "localised ceasefires" in Syria ahead of peace talks to be held in Switzerland next week. Russia also said Syria was considering opening humanitarian access to besieged rebel areas. A prisoner exchange is also under consideration, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. The two men are in Paris to discuss a ...

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Poll Security Report Unrealistic: Senators

KABUL - A number Senate members on Sunday called the election security report as unrealistic, saying that the situation at 50 percent of polling stations looked unfavourable in terms of transparency. After conducting an overall assessment throughout the country, security organs announced on Saturday only 414 out of 6, 845 polling sites across the country lacked the required level of protection. Ninety-four ...

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