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India pledges Afghanistan $1 billion in Aid to strengthen relations between Two Countries

The moves come ahead of a major donor meeting to be held in Brussels next month

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PM Narendra Modi with President Ashraf Ghani. Source-wikimedia commons

NEW DELHI, September 14, 2016: India promised $1 billion in fresh aid to Afghanistan when PM Narendra Modi and President Ashraf Ghani, met in New Delhi on Wednesday to strengthen relations between the two countries ahead of a major donor conference next month, in October.

Reuters report said that in a joint statement both the leaders pledged the financial help to back India’s “abiding support for a unified, sovereign, democratic, peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan.”

They also expressed “grave concern at the continued use of terrorism and violence in the region for achieving political objectives”- a veiled reference to Pakistan which denies sponsoring or supporting Islamic extremists.

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With a majority of US troops pulled from Afghanistan, efforts are being ramped up to rebuild the country after decades of conflict dates back to the Soviet invasion of 1979 to the prolonged Taliban insurgency, mentioned Reuters.

https://twitter.com/NewsGram1/status/776417012083859456

At India’s Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis, a government-funded think tank, Ghani in a speech said, “Forty years of violence would have broken any other country,” but now he is pleased to say that with India’s aid pledge, we can rebuild our country.

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Besides a threat of an armed conflict, it was also vital to build market institutions that could lift living standards in a nation where 70 percent of people live on less than $2 a day, said a former World Bank official.

On October 5, 2016, Afghanistan and The European Union will host a donor conference in Brussels which will be attended by 70 states and 30 international organizations and agencies, to ask for backing on reforms that will stabilize and develop the Central Asian country.

– prepared by Kabir Chaudhary of Newsgram. Twitter: @Kabeer_97

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US Embassy in Jakarta Presents Security Warning for Americans in Indonesia

The American Embassy also warned of ongoing demonstrations at several offices related to the elections and around several public places in downtown Jakarta

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embassy, security warning
Police anti-terror unit escort suspected militants before a press conference in Jakarta, May 17, 2019. Police say they have arrested suspected militants following a tipoff about a possible attack during the announcement of presidential election results next week. VOA

The American Embassy in Jakarta has issued a security warning for Americans in Indonesia, citing concerns over the official announcement of the results of the Indonesian presidential and legislative elections on May 22 by the General Election Commission (KPU).

“Indonesian police officials have publicly cited a heightened risk of terrorism in connection with the finalization of election results, and media has reported recent arrests of Indonesians on terrorism charges,” the embassy posted on its website on Friday.

Be aware of demonstrations

The American Embassy also warned of ongoing demonstrations at several offices related to the elections and around several public places in downtown Jakarta, including offices of KPU and the General Elections Supervisory Board (BAWASLU). Demonstrations are also expected in several other cities, such as Surabaya in East Java and Medan in North Sumatra.

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American Embassy in Jakarta has issued a security warning for Americans in Indonesia. Wikimedia Commons

The warning coincided with an announcement by Inspector General Mohammad Iqbal of the National Police Public Relations Division, who said at a press conference that nine people had been arrested earlier in the week in connection with a plot to bomb several unspecified locations during the current election period.

The suspects, aged between 24 and 45, are from a Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) terrorist cell in Central Java. Arrested Tuesday, six of the suspects had returned home after traveling to the Middle East to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, according to authorities quoted by the Straits Times.

68 suspects arrested since start of year

Since January, Indonesia’s Anti-Terror Detachment-88 has arrested 68 terrorism suspects, including the nine taken into custody this week, Iqbal said at the press conference. Seven were shot dead and one died after blowing himself up as he was about to be arrested in Sibolga, North Sumatra, Iqbal said, adding, “This group will take advantage of the democracy momentum because for them democracy is not in line with their understanding, and for them it is a target for their actions.”

embassy, security warning
The American Embassy also warned of ongoing demonstrations at several offices related to the elections and around several public places in downtown Jakarta. Pixabay

ALSO READ: North Korea Asks UN to Deal with ‘Illegal’ Seizure of Cargo Ship by US

On April 17, Indonesians voted in the first simultaneous elections since the country began democratic elections, with 193 million voters going to more than 810,000 polls. The first democratic presidential election took place in 2004.

The results, according to early returns, showed that incumbent President Joko Widodo defeated his opponent, Prabowo Subianto, a retired military general associated with the traditional political elite, who had vowed to challenge the official results if they confirmed that Widodo would have a second term. Widodo is the first Indonesian president from outside the Jakarta elite. (VOA)