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Afghan air force to be fully equipped until 2020

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    Posted: 12-Jul-2017 at 5:14pm
Afghan air force to be fully equipped until 2020

President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday said the Afghan Air Force (AAF) would be fully equipped until 2020, calling his recent overseas trips as “full of achievements.”

The president, who addressed a press conference at the Presidential Place, insisted on efforts at bringing about fundamental changes to the lives of Afghan people.

Ghani said he wanted peace with Pakistan first before negotiating the same with the Taliban . He also promised an end to the issue of acting officials over the next six months.

About new political alliances, the president said his government welcomed every reformative policy. The president said the agreement with Iran on the Helmand water would be implemented.

He said his visits to Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan and upcoming visits to central Asian countries were part of efforts at converting Afghanistan's geography into an opportunity.

The president said the government was trying to establish a corridor to Wakhan district of northeastern Badakhshan province in order to extend the Nori optic fiber project to one of the most deprived areas of the country.

He said they expected comprehensive talks about connecting Afghanistan and China through railway lines, including the Kunduz-Herat railroad.

The president said the people of Badakhshan, Takhar, Kunduz, Balkh, Jawzjan, Faryab, Badghis and Herat would reap the fruits of his visits to central Asian countries.

He said the government wanted to use the country’s hydropower resources as income source. He said there had been no policy on the country’s water resources. He improvement in the services, industry and other sectors was not possible if the resources continued to be neglected.
Ghani also said there had been no basic policy regarding trade and economic relations with regional countries but now relations with central Asian countries had been established on multifaceted basis.

He said Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan were ready to cooperate with Afghanistan in import of more electricity at a reduced cost.

The president said Afghanistan’s reliance on Pakistan’s Karachi seaport had been reduced and now goods from Hairatan dry port in northern Afghanistan reached China in short span of time.

Calling Aqina dry port one of Afghanistan’s major ports, the president said they were working with neighboring countries on how to improve Afghanistan imports.

Ghani said Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Kirghizstan and Turkey were alternate routes for Afghanistan and in this regard a five-nation agreement was on the verge of being executed.

He said new transit routes were being opened and talks about Afghanistan-Uzbekistan railway track were in progress.

Hoping regional politics would result into bringing peace and stability, the president said Afghanistan had been separate from central Asian countries 119 years ago, but now it was considered an unbreakable part of their economy.

Terming Afghanistan’s location as gold, the president said the focus had been on the gas pipeline project from central Asian countries.

About the Afghanistan-India air corridor, the president said Afghanistan’s exports to India would be increased and new targets would be set.

The president also urged religious scholars, media, people and the private sector to extend their cooperation to the government in its efforts to bring about positive changes to people’s lives.

Ghani said such press conferences would continue on various topics in future.

The president directed Cabinet members to brief the nation about mega development projects after every two months.

Responding to questions, the president said they wanted government-to-government peace with Pakistan, a peace which was durable, dignified and acceptable to the people.

However, he said so far no agreement had been reached with Pakistan and every progress in this regard would be consulted with the people.

The president said Afghanistan wanted peace with Pakistan first and then with the Taliban and hoped Pakistan would make a right choice. He said differences with Pakistan should be investigated and change them into cooperation and opportunities.

Ashraf Ghani said those Taliban who continued to kill innocent people had no more chance of reconciliation.

About the US strategy in Afghanistan, the president said the country had a positive vision and had allocated $860 million for the Afghanistan air force which would be fully equipped until 2020.

To questions about parliamentary and district council elections in July next year, the president said meetings on finding resources for the elections were ongoing and India was ready to technically assist the democratic exercise.

He said the Helmand water treaty with Iran would be implemented because the accord paved the way for international cooperation not confrontation. Ghani said a draft for ‘friendly talks’ with Iran was ready and the joint committee was on it.

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2017/07/12/afghan-air-force-be-fully-equipped-until-2020-ghani?mc_cid=1a14af8070&mc_eid=abf438035e

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