Romanian soldier killed in Taliban attack in Afghanistan: NATO

NATO soldiers keep watch near the wreckage of their vehicle at the site of a Taliban suicide attack in Kandahar. (AFP)
Updated 16 September 2017

Romanian soldier killed in Taliban attack in Afghanistan: NATO

KABUL: A Romanian soldier was killed in a Taliban claimed suicide attack on a NATO convoy in southern Afghanistan that also wounded two others, officials said Saturday.
The assailant drove a vehicle packed with explosives into the foreign patrol as they drove through Daman district in Kandahar province on Friday.
All three casualties were Romanian soldiers, NATO’s Resolute Support train and assist mission said in a statement.
General John Nicholson, who heads up US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, condemned the attack and said it was further evidence the Taliban “are not interested in peace.”
“This loss only continues to strengthen our resolve and support to the Afghan government and its citizens as we work toward a secure and stable Afghanistan,” Nicholson said.
In a WhatsApp message sent to journalists on Friday Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said “seven invading forces” were killed in the attack. The militants routinely exaggerate battlefield claims.
The Taliban’s latest assault follows the group’s pledge to turn Afghanistan into a “graveyard” for foreign forces after US President Donald Trump’s announcement last month to keep American boots on the ground indefinitely.
Earlier this month two Taliban suicide bombers launched separate attacks around Bagram Airfield, America’s largest base in the country, that wounded several US soldiers and civilians.


Indonesian president ‘honored’ to have UAE street named after him

Updated 22 October 2020

Indonesian president ‘honored’ to have UAE street named after him

  • Abu Dhabi’s Al-Ma’arid Street renamed President Joko Widodo Street

JAKARTA: Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Tuesday said it was “an honor” for him and his country that a street in the UAE capital had been named after him.

Al-Ma’arid Street, one of Abu Dhabi’s key roads, was on Monday renamed President Joko Widodo Street during a ceremony that coincided with the first anniversary of the Indonesian leader’s inauguration for a second term in office.

Writing on social media, Widodo said: “It is a recognition and an honor, not only for me, but for Indonesia.” He also expressed hope that the two countries’ relations would be “stronger, mutually strengthening, and beneficial for the people of the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia.”

Indonesia’s ambassador to the UAE, Husin Bagis, told Arab News: “The initiative to rename the street after President Joko Widodo came from His Highness (Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan), who also presided over the street renaming ceremony on the spot.”

The envoy said that the street was near to the future location of the Indonesian Embassy compound, which was currently under construction.

According to UAE news agency WAM, the crown prince has also directed officials to build a mosque named after Widodo, in Abu Dhabi’s Diplomatic Area, in recognition of the Indonesian president’s close friendship with the UAE and his efforts to strengthen the relationship.

Indonesia-UAE relations have grown closer since Widodo’s visit to Abu Dhabi in January, during which he secured investment projects worth $22.9 billion in what has officially been described as the biggest trade deal in the country’s history. The visit was to reciprocate the crown prince’s trip to Indonesia in July 2019.

Recent cooperation agreements between the two countries have included plans for the construction of a mosque on a plot of land in Widodo’s hometown of Solo in Central Java.

The mosque will be a replica of Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and serve as an Islamic center offering training for clerics. A groundbreaking ceremony is slated to take place in December.

Widodo is the latest Indonesian leader to be celebrated through an honorific street name in a foreign country. In Rabat, Morocco’s capital, Avenue Sukarno was named after Indonesia’s first president, while Mohammed Hatta Street in Haarlem, the Netherlands, recognizes the Southeast Asian country’s first vice president. Sukarno and Hatta are considered the fathers of Indonesia’s independence.

The name of the country’s third president, B. J. Habibie, appears on a bridge in Dili, the capital of East Timor, in honor of his decision to hold a referendum there which allowed East Timor to secede from Indonesia.