The Meeting of the Council of Ministers

The meeting of the Council of Ministers was held under the chairmanship of Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, the Chief Executive of the National Unity Government.

In his preliminary remarks, the Chief Executive condemned the attack to Kabul the other day, saying that notorious terrorists once again targeted the people and killed and injured some of our innocent people, including a number of our security forces. The Chief Executive expressed condolences to families of the martyrs and wished the wounded urgent recovery.

Dr. Abdullah referred to the NATO Summit, saying that, in fact, the NATO conference in Brussels was a confirmation of capabilities of our security forces. We appreciate the efforts of the security forces for defending the country. At the same time, there are security threats, but we call for close cooperation of people with the security forces in order to prevent such incidents in the future.

The Chief Executive welcomed the return of General Abdul Rashid Dostum, the first deputy to the President, and said, “We hope return of Gen. Dostum may help consolidate foundations of national unity and ensure peace and stability in the country.”

Dr. Abdullah welcomed successful holding of the meeting of joint Coordination and Monitoring Board and said that at the conference on the obligations of the world and the Afghan government, the achievements, work progress and challenges ahead of fulfilling the commitments were discussed and the mutual commitments between the Afghan government and the international community was also raised.

"It is a positive step that will help us to go to the Geneva conference, but it puts the greatest responsibility for the government and members of the cabinet in good governance, fighting corruption, rule of law, encouraging the private sector, holding transparent and fair elections as well as peace talks," said the Chief Executive. He also added successful implementation of these requires efforts by all of us. Therefore, we ask all members of the Council of Ministers and government officials to cooperate and pay more attention.

In a part of his speech, the Chief Executive said leaders of the government had a joint meeting with the international partners and the Independent Election Commission (IEC) in previous day. The leaders of the National Unity Government called on the IEC to announce the exact date of presidential election in order not to leave room for ambiguity at the will of the National Unity Government for holding elections. Of course, the Afghan people expect an election free of fraud and past problems.

According to the agenda, Ustad Mohammad Mohaqeq, second deputy to the Chief Executive gave information about visit of high-ranking Afghan delegation to China.

The Afghan delegation under the chairmanship of the Second Deputy to the Chief Executive recently attended the China-South Asia conference and exhibition. The Afghan delegation spoke to the Chinese Deputy Prime Minister and other Chinese officials on development of trade relations, granting scholarships, cooperation for treatment of patients, as well as other issues.

After listening to the report, the Chief Executive asked the Ministries of Commerce and Economy to pursue the results and obligations of the Chinese trip.

Then, officials of security agencies reported on the current security situation in the country.

The Interior Minister spoke about heavy casualties posed to the enemy in previous week, saying that as a result of security forces’ operations, 430 enemies were killed and dozens were injured or arrested. Mr. Wais Ahmad Barmak added that in special operations, Taliban’s so-called governor in Kapisa and a number of its important commanders were killed.

The Interior Minister reported on the security situation in the capital and said: We have ordered the police to arrest, either alive or dead, groups of kidnappers who are active in Kabul.

Then, the Minister of Economy further reported on assessment of capacity building program at the National Bureau for Disaster Management.

Development budget allocation, inadequate organizational structure, lack of funds for paying salaries of temporary employees, and lack of capacity building program for employees were considered the major challenges faced by the National Bureau for Disaster Management.

After the report, the Chief Executive directed the Office of Administrative Reform, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economy, and Administrative Office of the President to coordinately work on organizational structure of the National Bureau for Disaster Management. Dr. Abdullah said that salaries of temporary employees in the State Ministry for Disaster Management should be paid from the code of emergency fund, and the Ministry of Economy would also provide the ground for recruiting a number of advisers in that ministry.

The Minister of Economy also presented the preliminary plan for infrastructure sharing.

According to the agenda, the Acting Minister of Housing and Urban Development presented the report on work progress of Darul Aman Administrative Complex.

Based on this report, the design and master plan of the two phases of Administrative Complex have been completed. The first phase will begin in 2019 and will be completed by 2021.

Then, the Minister of Hajj and Endowments presented the survey report of endowed property by the Afghanistan Independent Land Authority. The Land Authority requested an increase in the budget as well as an extension of time. The Council of Ministers decided that the Land Authority would do the procedures within the next four months.

The Head of Civil Aviation Authority reported on its projects and programs in connection with improving service delivery at the airports in the capital and in the provinces.

Also, the Head of Civil Aviation Authority informed about construction of airfields in a number of provinces. According to the report, over the next two years, responsibility of the vast majority of airfields has been handed over to Afghans, and the Aviation Authority has control over the country's airspace.

The Chief Executive, after listening to the report, said that serious changes have occurred in the Civil Aviation Authority over the past year. Dr. Abdullah told the head of the Civil Aviation Authority to share their challenges and problems in writing with him in order to be resolved.

Then, the Kabul Municipality reported on action plan of public services and Traffic Department in Kabul. According to a report on the interference of duty, the corruption and lack of coordination between the relevant agencies are among the main drivers of traffic congestion in Kabul. The Municipality of Kabul has plans to improve the traffic situation in the capital.

Members of the meeting stressed on coordination and unity of action among relevant agencies to solve the problems of Kabul's traffic.

The Chief Executive said the joint meeting will be held with presence of the Interior Minister, the mayor of Kabul and members of Kabul traffic control panel, to prevent dispersal by better coordination. The Chief Executive also emphasized on creation of facilities for recruitment of municipal employees.