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Afghanistan: An Escape Route From Political, Economic Dangers

Afghanistan: An Escape Route From Political, Economic Dangers

At the 2001 Bonn Conference, we wished to embrace freedom and democracy. For the first time, the Afghan people hoped that legitimacy in their country would─rather than relying on armed warlords and regional ethnic leaders─be maintained by an ..., 1 day ago
US to stand by Afghanistan Gulf News, 3 weeks ago
BONN (Reuters) – Foreign governments pledged on Monday to support Afghanistan long after allied troops go home, with or without a political settlement with insurgents once seen as the best way to prevent a new civil war. At a conference of more than 80 countries but boycotted by Pakistan, they said even after most foreign combat troops leave in 2014, the Afghan government will not be allowed to meet the fate of its Soviet-era predecessor, which collapsed in 1992. “The United States intends to stay the course with our friends in Afghanistan,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said. “We will be there with you as you make the hard decisions that are necessary for your future.” Hosts Germany sought to signal Western staying power in the country, where al Qaeda sheltered under Taliban protection before the September 11 attacks, at the gathering in Bonn. “We send a clear message to the people of Afghanistan: We will not leave you on your own. We will not leave you in the lurch,” said German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. Ten years after a similar conference held to rebuild Afghanistan, the Afghan war is becoming increasingly unpopular in Western public opinion — especially since U.S. forces found and killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan on May 2 in a raid that removed a central pretext of the 2001 invasion. Western countries are under pressure to spend money reviving flagging economies at home rather than propping up a government in Kabul widely criticized for being corrupt and ineffective. And as expected, delegates at the Bonn conference steered clear of making specific pledges to make up a shortfall in funding for Afghanistan estimated by the World Bank at some $7 billion a year from the end of 2014. For now, nobody wants to show their hand too clearly in the hope that someone else — from the United States to Europe, the Gulf to Asia — will come forward to foot a share of the bill. Brewing confrontations pitting Washington against Pakistan and Iran, two of Afghanistan’s most influential neighbors, have also added to despondency over the outlook for the war. Pakistan boycotted the meeting after NATO aircraft killed 24 of its soldiers on the border with Afghanistan in a November 26 attack the alliance called a “tragic” accident. But delegates from Russia to Iran to China, all uneasy about the U.S. military presence in their neighborhood, were nonetheless able to agree with Western powers “the main threat to Afghanistan’s security and stability is terrorism.” “In this regard, we recognize the regional dimensions of terrorism and extremism, including terrorist safe havens, and emphasize the need for sincere and result-oriented regional cooperation…” a conference statement. Pakistan is accused by Washington and Kabul of providing “safe havens” to insurgents to use to counter the influence of rival India. Pakistan says it being used as a scapegoat for the U.S. failure to bring stability to Afghanistan. SCALING BACK OBJECTIVES The mood at the Bonn conference was a far cry from the early days of the Afghan war when, fresh from toppling the Taliban, Western powers hoped to bring permanent peace to a country which has now been at war for more than three decades. But with problems of insecurity, governance, corruption and narcotics inside Afghanistan, compounded by insurgent sanctuaries in Pakistan, objectives have been scaled back. By the time of a conference in London on Afghanistan in January 2010, Western governments had agreed insurgents could be brought into peace talks if they were willing to cut ties with al Qaeda, give up violence and respect the Afghan constitution. But even that goal has proved elusive. Embroynic contacts with the Taliban have yielded little, and foreign governments have been preparing increasingly for a scenario in which there is no peace settlement with the Taliban even before the before most foreign combat troops leave in 2014. The aim now is to leave behind a government which is just about good enough to survive, even if fighting persists in parts of the country and the Taliban insurgency remains active. Some are still hoping Pakistan will use its influence to deliver the Afghan Taliban into a political settlement. Afghan President Hamid Karzai told reporters Pakistan had missed a good opportunity to discuss its own issues and the future of Afghanistan by not attending the Bonn conference. “But it will not stop us from cooperating together,” he said. Asked what he wanted Pakistan to do to help bring peace in Afghanistan, he said: “Close the sanctuaries, arrange a purposeful dialogue with those Taliban who are in Pakistan.” Clinton said she expected Pakistan to play a constructive role in Afghanistan, even as she voiced disappointment that Islamabad chose not to attend the conference. But British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that Afghanistan could still have a bright future even if the Taliban were not brought into a political settlement. “It may take a longer time to bring about our objectives but we should not be deterred at all by Taliban reluctance to come to the table…” he told the BBC. Foreign governments were also determined to try to dispel at least some of the pessimism seeping into the Afghan project. Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna, whose country became the first to sign a strategic partnership agreement with Afghanistan — much to the irritation of Pakistan — pledged India would keep up its heavy investment in a country whose mineral wealth and trade routes made it “a land of opportunity.” In a rare positive development, Clinton said the United States would resume paying into a World Bank-administered Reconstruction Trust Fund for Afghanistan, a decision that U.S. officials said would allow for the disbursement of roughly $650 million to $700 million in suspended U.S. aid. The United States and other big donors stopped paying into the fund in June, when the International Monetary Fund suspended its program with Afghanistan because of concerns about Afghanistan’s troubled Kabul Bank. IRAN ROW OVERSHADOWS CONFERENCE In a sign of quite how difficult it will be to bring peace to Afghanistan, the conference was nearly overshadowed before it started by a row with Iran — increasingly at odds with the United States and European powers over its nuclear program. Tehran said on Sunday it shot down a U.S. spy drone in its airspace and threatened to respond. [ID:nL5E7N40D9] International forces in Kabul said the drone may have been one lost last week while flying over western Afghanistan. Iran has been accused in the past of providing low-level backing to the Taliban insurgency, and diplomats and analysts have suggested Tehran could ratchet up this support if it wanted to put serious pressure on U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on Monday also reiterated Iran’s opposition to the United States keeping some forces in Afghanistan after 2014. Simon Gass, NATO’s senior civilian representative in Kabul and former British ambassador to Tehran, downplayed the prospect of Tehran acting as a spoiler in any Afghan settlement. He recalled Iran was a historic foe of the Taliban, which has a record of hostility to Afghan Shi’ites, Iran’s co-religionists. Despite its dislike of the Taliban “Iran has a history in Afghanistan of supporting some Taliban groups in different ways. That could continue. We shall have to see,” he said. “But what I would say is that my quite long experience of Iran is that Iranians are realists, and once the international agreements are in place which define the security architecture for Afghanistan after 2014, my belief is that Iran will begin to adjust to those new realities,” he told Reuters. (Additional reporting by David Brunnstrom, Arshad Mohammed, Sabine Siebold, Missy Ryan and William Maclean; Writing by Myra MacDonald; Editing by William Maclean) Current News India, 1 month ago

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Fiji Sun

PM Bainimarama Accepts Presidency Of COP-23, Renews Call To Trump

Fiji will preside over the next United Nations Conference on Climate Change COP 23 in Bonn, Germany, next year. While accepting the Presidency of COP-23, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said Fiji will use the platform to continue to press for ...
 Fiji Sun2 months ago Pacific Community hail Fiji's COP23 achievement  Fiji Broadcasting Corporation1 month ago China helps fund Fijian presidency at COP 23  Radio New Zealand1 month ago Pacific Community says Fiji co-chairing COP23 'highly significant'  ABC Online2 months ago

INVITATION: Deutsche Telekom to Present at the November 16 dbVIC - Deutsche Bank ADR Virtual Investor Conference

] Deutsche Telekom invites investors to attend interactive virtual investor conference BONN, Germany , Nov. 15, 2016 /CNW/ --Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX, DTEGY), one of Europe's leading telecommunications and information technology service ...
 TMC Net2 months ago

Fiji will be organizers of next climate conference in Germany

The 23rd edition of the Conference Of Parties ( COP 23) will take place in Bonn, Germany by the end of 2017, according to the Morocco, chairman of the COP22 and the Fijian authorities. The two nations on Friday announced that Fiji, the ...
 AfricaNews2 months ago Fiji Nouveau—Bonn, Germany  Canada Free Press1 month ago Germany to hold 2017 climate talks with Fiji as host-source  Sharenet2 months ago U.S. Embassy Suva To Launch 5-Year Project To Combat Climate Change Impacts  Pacific Islands Report15 hours ago

Informationsveranstaltung „IT-Aufsicht bei Banken

MIL OSI Global Banks Source: Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht Headline: Ort:World Conference Center Bonn Plenargebäude Platz der Vereinten Nationen 2 53113 Bonn Anknüpfend an die erfolgreichen Veranstaltungen der letzten ...
 Foreign days ago Speech at the conference on the future of EU  Foreign week ago Daily News 12 / 01 / 2017  Europa Union6 days ago Daily News 09 / 12 / 2016  Foreign month ago

Environmental risk assessment of EDCs scientifically sound

An international conference, hosted by the Fresenius Academy in Bonn last week, heard that leading scientists have reached a consensus that environmental risk assessment for endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) is scientifically sound. ...
 Chemical Watch1 month ago

Arts: Hot tickets 2017

Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn, Germany 7 October 2017 4 March 2018 As scientists gather to hash out the implementation of the Paris treaty on climate change in Bonn this November, a nearby exhibition will take a broad look at weather through the ...
 Nature1 week ago
DAWN Group

Earthly Matters: Trump casts shadow on Marrakech climate conference

Moroccan Foreign Minister and COP22 President Salaheddine Mezouar (L) and French Minister for Environment Segolene Royal launch the opening of the UN Climate Change Conference 2016 (COP22) in Marrakech (Reuters) The two weeks long UN Climate Change ...
 DAWN Group1 month ago New momentum for Paris pact  Masress.com1 month ago COP22: Key Outcomes Agreed at the UN Climate Talks in Marrakech  Resilience1 month ago COP22: Pledges for Action, Renewable Energy Uptake  InfoMarine.net1 month ago
Inter Press Service

Africa: New Technologies in Debate in Biodiversity Conference

Cancun — Synthetic biology, geoengineering and the recognition of ancestral knowledge are the issues that have generated the most heated debate in the United Nations Conference on Biodiversity, which ends in this Mexican resort city on Friday Dec.
 AllAfrica.com1 month ago New Technologies, a Focus of Debate in Biodiversity Conference  Inter Press Service1 month ago New technologies in debate in biodiversity conference  IPP Media1 month ago

Bonn Has Become an Insider Tip on the International Stage

UN Campus Bonn ( Michael Sondermann/Bundesstadt Bonn) ROME/BONN, Nov 29 2016 (IPS) - With around 320,000 inhabitantson 141 square kilometres, no otherrelatively small city has played such a historicallycritical role like the City of Bonn. ...
 Inter Press Service1 month ago
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