Reports of gunfights and casualties from southern Afghanistan
Reports from Zabul in southern Afghanistan say gunfights between the insurgents and Afghan security forces intensified. Afghan Ministry of Defence confirmed that intense gunfights erupted after the security forces retaliated against the ‘enemy’s plot’ to claim control over the remote district of Shamulzay, in the southeast of the provincial capital Qalat city in the border with Pakistan. Zabiullah Mujahid, a purported Taliban spokesman, claimed that the insurgents overran the government offices in the district. The Zabul council chief, Atta Jan Haqbayan, confirmed to international media the fall of Shamulzayi district headquarters to the Taliban, saying government forces had retreated to a nearby major army base. [Media]
Kabul and Paktia MPs Sworn In
Following the announcement of Kabul parliamentary elections results by the Independent Elections Commission, the newly declared MPs together with MPs from Paktia province MPs were sworn in by the Afghan President Ghani in Presidential Palace. This put an end to the long stretched controversial 2018 autumn Parliamentary elections dilemma. Meanwhile, the Afghan parliament is scheduled to hold its general session tomorrow [Thursday] to elect the administrative board of the lower house. The newly 33 elected MPs are mostly new faces including young businessman Ajmal Rahmani who received the highest votes amongst over 800 nominees in Kabul. [Media]
Afghan Foreign minister met with German envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan
Afghanistan’s foreign affairs minister Salahuddin Rabbani met with the special representative of the German Federal Government for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Markus Potzel. “Briefing the Foreign Minister on his recent Doha trip, Ambassador Potzel said, “Germany intends to have an active role in bringing about peace in Afghanistan.” He also hinted that respecting the Constitution was key to stability in Afghanistan”, a statement of the ministry said. “Appreciating Germany’s continued support to Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Rabbani deemed that Germany was a great friend of Afghanistan”. [MFA]
Russian Presidential Aide Commented on ‘Balance of Power in Afghanistan’
Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said that the country’s President Vladimir Putin and U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo have discussed Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Venezuela, and Iran, quoted in a report by the Russian TASS news agency. Russia and the United States should cooperate more actively on settlement in Afghanistan, Ushakov said as quoted by TASS. “On the issue of Afghanistan, the (Russian) president and the (US) secretary of state also noted rather good cooperation between specialists of our countries. Moreover, our president noted that settlement in Afghanistan is a rather complicated issue as the process itself is difficult. At the same time, the positions of the Taliban are getting stronger,” Ushakov said. “We need to step up cooperation and try to achieve the balance of power in this country,” he added. On April 25, representatives of Russia, China, and the United States held a trilateral meeting in Moscow on the situation in Afghanistan. After the talks, the sides called on the Taliban to join talks with the Afghan authorities as soon as possible [Source: Ariana News].