UN / AFGHANISTAN

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ENGLISH 17-Jan-2018 00:03:06
The President of the Security Council said “the security situation remains highly volatile” in Afghanistan, expressing concerns over increasing numbers of casualties as terrorist groups are "adopting increasingly violent tactics." UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / AFGHANISTAN
TRT: 03:06
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 17 JANURARY 2018, NEW YORK CITY / 13 – 15 JANUARY 2018, KABUL, AFGHANISTAN

SHOTLIST:

RECENT – NEW YORK CITY

1. Exterior, United Nations Headquarters

17 JANURARY 2018, NEW YORK CITY

2. Various shots, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Kairat Umarov, Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations:
“The security situation remains highly volatile. The Mission noted with concern the increasing numbers of casualties as terrorist groups, including newcomers, are adopting increasingly violent tactics.”
4. Med shot, delegates
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Kairat Umarov, Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations:
“Interlocutors from the Afghan Government stressed on the need to increase regional cooperation on fighting and preventing terrorism and countering the movement of FTFs.”
6. Med shot, delegates
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Kairat Umarov, Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations:
“The main obstacle to peace, according to a number of interlocutors within the government and the parliament, is the existences of "safe havens" and sanctuaries for the Taliban abroad. The Government reiterated its readiness to engage constructively with neighboring countries to curb terrorism and negotiate.”
8. Med shot, delegates
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Kairat Umarov, Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations:
“Council members reiterated the need to hold elections this year that are transparent, timely, inclusive, and impartial to ensure the credibility of the government, rebuild people's trust in the institutions, and prevent further destabilization.”
10. Wide shot, Security Council
11. Wide shot, Ambassadors at media stakeout
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Nikki Haley, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations:
“The US policy on Afghanistan is working. We can see dramatic changes in terms of what US policy has been doing. We are saying that we are closer to talks with the Taliban and the peace process that we have seen before. From all the government officials, they were very very grateful.”
13. Med shot, camera person
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Nikki Haley, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations:
“I think what is the most important that the US wanted is that we want to see an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned policy. And what was impressive is the Afghan leaders are completely taking responsibility for that. They don’t ask us for things, they are telling us what they are doing. It wasn’t about talk, it was about action. And we could see those and I think they can continue down that path of results. We will continue to see this peace process moving forward.”
15. Close up, journalist typing
16. SOUNDBITE (English) Nikki Haley, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations:
“I think one of the top priority for the administration is to make sure that we do everything we can to combat terrorism. And in Afghanistan, we know that it has been a long time “safe heaven” for terrorism. So yes, we think peace is very important, we think the Taliban coming to the table is very important. And we think that the entire international community needs to support this process so that we can have peace. It is not just about Afghanistan, it is not just about the region. But it is really about safety of the world and how we are going to continue as an international community to treat terrorism going forward.”

UNAMA -13 – 15 JANUARY 2018, KABUL, AFGHANISTAN

17. Various shots, Security Council members greeting by the Afghan President
18. Various shots, Security Council members meeting senior Afghan government officials

STORYLINE:

Briefing the Security Council on the recent visit to the Afghan city Kabul, the Council’s president today (17 Jan) said “the security situation remains highly volatile,” expressing concerns over “increasing numbers of casualties as terrorist groups, including newcomers, are adopting increasingly violent tactics.”

On the returning of Foreign Terroris Fighters (FTFs) from Syria and Iraq regrouping in Afghanistan, Security Council’s President Kazakhstani Ambassador Kairat Umarov said “interlocutors from the Afghan Government stressed on the need to increase regional cooperation on fighting and preventing terrorism and countering the movement of FTFs.”

He also stressed “the main obstacle to peace, according to a number of interlocutors within the government and the parliament, is the existences of "safe havens" and sanctuaries for the Taliban abroad.”

Umarov added “the Government reiterated its readiness to engage constructively with neighboring countries to curb terrorism and negotiate.”

On the upcoming parliamentary and district council election, the Council’s president said “Council members reiterated the need to hold elections this year that are transparent, timely, inclusive, and impartial to ensure the credibility of the government, rebuild people's trust in the institutions, and prevent further destabilization.”

Speaking to reporters after the Council’s meeting, the United States (US) Ambassador Nikki Haley said the visit shows “the US policy on Afghanistan is working.”

She said “we can see dramatic changes in terms of what US policy has been doing. We are saying that we are closer to talks with the Taliban and the peace process that we have seen before. From all the government officials, they were very very grateful.”

Haley also reiterated the most important thing that the US wanted is to see “an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned policy,” adding that it was “impressive” the Afghan leaders are completely taking responsibility for that.

She added “they don’t ask us for things, they are telling us what they are doing. It wasn’t about talk, it was about action. And we could see those and I think they can continue down that path of results. We will continue to see this peace process moving forward.”

Asked about whether the peace deal with the Taliban is a priority for Trump’s administration, Haley said “one of the top priority for the administration is to make sure that we do everything we can to combat terrorism. And in Afghanistan, we know that it has been a long time “safe heaven” for terrorism. So yes, we think peace is very important, we think the Taliban coming to the table is very important.”

She added “we think that the entire international community needs to support this process so that we can have peace. It is not just about Afghanistan, it is not just about the region. But it is really about safety of the world and how we are going to continue as an international community to treat terrorism going forward.”

The UN Security Council undertook a visit to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan from the 13th to 15th of January 2018. The first Council visit to Afghanistan since 2010.

The leader of the Security Council delegation, Ambassador Kairat Umarov, the Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the UN, was accompanied on this trip by representatives of the United States, Plurinational State of Bolivia, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Kuwait, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Sweden, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and China.

During the visit to Kabul, the delegation held meetings with the President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, and other senior Afghan officials.
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