Welcome to our e-newsletter Vol. 43 June 2007  

President Karzai Meets with UN Secretary-General in Kabul:   President Hamid Karzai received United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on June 29. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s first visit to Kabul was aimed at "ensuring solid coordination between the U.N. and Afghan government in their joint efforts here," said Adrian Edwards, the U.N. spokesman in Afghanistan. “Responding to a long-standing invitation from President Karzai, the Secretary General wanted to evaluate the situation on the ground, better assess the progress made, and the role the United Nations can play.” MORE

Foreign Minister Spanta Represents Afghanistan at G8 Summit: On May 30, Foreign Minister Dr. Rangeen Dadfar Spanta traveled to Potsdam, Germany to meet with his Group of Eight counterparts and Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri. The summit was the first G-8 meeting in which Afghanistan and Pakistan participated. MORE
U.S. Secretary of Defense Travels to Kabul and Kandahar:   On June 4 President Hamid Karzai received U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to pledge his country’s continued support to Afghanistan and to assess the fight against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Secretary Gates also met with his counterpart, Afghanistan’s Defense Minister General Abdul Rahim Wardak, and made his first visit to Kandahar in southern Afghanistan, where he met with U.S. troops. MORE
ANA Chief of the General Staff Visits Washington, DC:   General Bismillah Mohammadi, Chief of the General Staff of the Afghan National Army (ANA), accompanied by ANA Director for Strategy and Policy Major General Mohammed N. Payenda, paid an official to the United States from June 17-28. U.S. Army Chief of the Staff General George W. Casey, Jr. hosted the visit and held a series of meetings and round-table discussions with General Mohammadi and members of his delegation at the US Department of Defense. MORE

Afghan Parliamentarians Discuss Security and Reconstruction in Washington: On June 18 a delegation of Afghan Parliamentarians arrived in the United States on the invitation of the Congress’ House Democracy Assistance Commission and with the assistance of the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the National Defense University’s Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies (NESA). The delegation had meetings with high ranking member of Congress, key Congressional Committee staff, meetings at the U.S. Department of Defense and Department of State and other meetings with thinks tanks and at the National Defense University. MORE

Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan Sign Joint Statement on Border Management Cooperation in Drug Control: United in their desire to counter-act this common threat along their common borders, public security and counter narcotic ministers and senior officials from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan met in Vienna on 12 June 2007 to discuss existing threats, domestic counter-narcotic strategies, and ways of improving bilateral and regional cooperation. MORE
Ambassador Jawad Discusses Strategy at New America Foundation: On June 8, Ambassador Said T. Jawad addressed an overflow crowd at the New America Foundation in Washington, DC. The event was open to the public, and presented the Ambassador with a unique opportunity to dialogue not only with policymakers and journalists, but also with concerned citizens. The Ambassador gave a detailed Power Point presentation outlining Afghanistan’s security challenges, regional sources of instability, investment opportunities, and the need for increased aid effectiveness in reconstruction. MORE

Minerals Offer Major Investment Opportunities in Afghanistan: Afghanistan’s mining industry offers a wealth of possibilities for the prospective investor, yet this lucrative sector is often overlooked by the global investment community. Although recent studies by the United States Geological Survey have determined that Afghanistan’s resource base is significantly greater than previously understood, the country’s mining sector remain virtually untouched. MORE

Ambassador Jawad Addresses Afghan Counter-Narcotics Police Graduates: Ambassador Said Tayeb Jawad attended a graduation ceremony for the Counter-Narcotics Police of Afghanistan Sensitive Interdiction Unit (CNPA-SIU) trainees at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Academy in Quantico, Virginia on June 7. DEA has worked closely with the CNPA, offering training, mentoring, and investigative assistance since Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior established the CNPA in 2003. MORE

Afghanistan Freedom and Security Support Act Enters the US Senate: A group of girls returning home from school in Afghanistan's Logar province recently did not for a moment expect what lay ahead. As they walked down a dirt track, insurgents sprang out of the parched farms and began firing on them. Some of them fled into the farm, but two girls, one aged 13, the other 10, were killed in the ambush. Three of their friends were wounded. MORE

Ambassador Jawad Hosts Luncheon for Woodrow Wilson Center Board of Trustees: On June 4, the Embassy hosted a luncheon for a distinguished group of 50 scholars and members of the Board of Trustees of the Woodrow Wilson Center, and guests from the Woodrow Wilson Center. The Wilson Center is a nonpartisan institute for advanced study and a neutral forum for open, serious, and informed dialogue. MORE

Embassy of Afghanistan Re-Launches Dari/Pashto Newsletter: After a brief hiatus, the Embassy of Afghanistan has resumed publishing a Dari/Pashto Newsletter. To read the latest issue, or to browse previous issues, please click MORE

Political Counselor M. Ashraf Haidari Visits CNPA Trainees at the DEA Academy: Political Counselor M. Ashraf Haidari visited the Counter-Narcotics Police of Afghanistan Sensitive Interdiction Unit (CNPA-SIU) trainees at the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Academy in Quantico, Virginia on May 23. The Counselor welcomed the CNPA-SIU trainees to the US and encouraged them to take full advantage of the training provided to them. MORE

More Tourists Flock to Afghanistan in 2007: More than 3,100 international tourists visited Afghanistan in the first quarter of 2007, compared to 9,000 sightseers who traveled to Afghanistan throughout the whole of 2006. On June 24 Deputy Minister for Information, Culture and Tourism Gholam Nabi Farahi announced the statistics, saying that the number of tourists visiting Afghanistan has steadily increased throughout the last few years. MORE

Afghan Athletes Train with Global Goals:  From boxing to badminton to mountain climbing, Afghan athletes are training every day in hopes of bringing Olympic medals and international recognition to Afghanistan. Afghans can be passionate sports fans, and athletes are a source of national pride. As a post-conflict country, training in Afghanistan is sporadic at best and attempts to organize national championships are beset with obstacles. Depsite the challenges, Afghanistan brought a 47-strong team of athletes to the 2006 Asian Games in Doha to compete in 12 sports, including basketball, boxing and karate. MORE

Malaysia, Canada and Japan Stand with Afghanistan: Recent announcements by Malaysia, Canada and Japan will have significant positive consequences as Afghanistan continues on its road to reconstruction. Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced this month that his country is willing to share its experience to assist the future transformation of Afghanistan into an enabling environment for effective private sector contribution to its development process. MORE

Commercial Attache Addresses Engineers at Army Navy Club:   Commercial Attaché Khaleda Atta spoke on June 25 to a group of representatives of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Society of Afghan Engineers (SAE), and relevant companies at the Army Navy Club of Washington. The gathering was part a series of events for a delegation of architects and engineering professors from Kabul University and Kabul a Polytechnic University who are in the United States for a week-long training session. MORE

Afghan Delegation Conclude U.S. Training in Preservation and Park Management: Mohammad Sharif Mohammadi, Aiamuddin Ajmal and Sayed Nasir Modaber departed the United States to Kabul this month after an eight week training with National Park Service sponsored by the U.S. State Department’s Cultural Heritage Center office. As representatives of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, they trained with National Park Service staff at Tumacacori National Historical Park. MORE

USGS - science for a changing world
USGS Partners with Embassy to Unveil Major Afghan Earthquakes Study: On May 30 a major joint seminar with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) was hosted at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, D.C. Last year saw the release of the USGS study on Oil & Gas Natural Resources in Northern Afghanistan. This latest event explaining the hazard risks of earthquakes in the country was opened by Ambassador Said T. Jawad and Mr. Alonzo Fulgham, COO of USAID. MORE

Roshan Launches Afghanistan's First Telemedicine Project: Roshan, a leading telecom operator in Afghanistan, launched an innovative Telemedicine solution in Afghanistan to expand healthcare access and delivery across the country. Using broadband technology, wireless video consultation and digital image transfer, the Telemedicine project will provide hospitals in Afghanistan with real-time access to specialist diagnosis, treatment and training expertise from abroad.  MORE

New Afghanistan Customs Website Launched: The Ministry of Finance, Customs Department team launched a new website this month, which includes valuable new information for the prospective investor or trader. Visitors to the website can access trade statistics by country, a searchable database of goods/tariff rates applied, full customs codes listings, and many other essential tools to facilitate U.S. – Afghanistan trade. After 25 years of political and economic strife, Afghanistan is well on its way to regain its position as a strong trading partner with neighboring, regional, and global partners. MORE

Export Promotion Agency Established to Support Sustainable Economic Growth: Exports play an important role in the economic development of a country, especially in terms of increasing foreign revenue. Increased participation of Afghanistan in the processing, marketing and distribution of its commodities, if accompanied by improved market access, provides an alternative means for ensuring greater value added, as well as predictability and increased export earnings. MORE

BBC Reports on Challenges Facing Afghan Schools: A group of girls returning home from school in Afghanistan's Logar province recently did not for a moment expect what lay ahead. As they walked down a dirt track, insurgents sprang out of the parched farms and began firing on them. Some of them fled into the farm, but two girls, one aged 13, the other 10, were killed in the ambush. Three of their friends were wounded. MORE

Kabul to Host International Trade & Industry Exhibition July 18-22: The European Consulting & Exhibition Company (ECE Co.) in cooperation with the Ministry of Commerce and Industries, USAID, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, and Agfair Management presents Asia-Europe International Trade & Industry Exhibition from July 18-22, 2007 at the Badam Bagh Exhibition Area, an 8,000 square meter facility in the heart of Kabul, Afghanistan. The first of its kind in Afghanistan, Asia-Europe International Trade & Industry Exhibition will facilitate knowledge and technology exchange in a variety of industrial sectors. MORE

Legislative Update: At this crucial moment in time, the Embassy of Afghanistan is actively engaging the U.S. Congress to provide the resources and commitment necessary to successfully rebuild Afghanistan. As part of these efforts, we will provide regular updates on meetings with key U.S. Representatives and Senators and legislation pertinent to Afghanistan and the region. MORE

Embassy in the News: This month, Ambassador Jawad was quoted by Wired.com and UPI. Political Counselor M. Ashraf Haidari answered questions on Development Gateway Online. Other articles on Afghanistan appeared in the Washington Diplomat, the Baltimore Sun, and Education Week. To read or watch these interviews, please click Embassy in the News.

Investment News: This month, numerous publications covered business and investment opportunities in Afghanistan. A new Customs website was launched, and the Export Promotion Agency was established. The Commerce Minister spoke to Pajhwok Afghan news about trade in Afghanistan. This summer, Kabul will host an Industry and Trade Exhibition and an International Carpet Fair. The AfghanMark logo received a number of awards, and the Embassy published a guide to investing in Afghanistan's mining sector. To read these articles, please click Investment News

Embassy Events: To view photographs from and read about Embassy events, please click on Embassy Events


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