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KABUL (TCA) — On September 27, the European Union Delegation in Afghanistan and Parliament of Afghanistan held a joint high level conference on "Challenges to the Extractive Industries and Impacts of Illegal Mining on Security and Stability in Afghanistan" with the participation of Muhmmad Sarwar Danish, Second Vice President of Afghanistan, and European Union Head of Delegation Ambassador Pierre Mayaudon.

"Illegal mining is happening in Afghanistan, literally at our gate, and it is happening now. This creates for all of us an obligation to react. The EU will support the Government of Afghanistan to strengthen the regulatory and legal Frameworks. We have available funds that we can allocate to the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum to support its reform agenda," said Ambassador Pierre Mayaudon.

Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish said that illegal mining posed serious threats to Afghanistan’s national security and stability, TOLOnews agency reported.

The natural resources commission of the Afghan parliament has said that Daesh is trying to take control of a number of mines in the country to fuel its war machine.

At the conference, participants said illegal mining by militant groups and local lawbreakers was playing a significant role in the deteriorating security situation in the country.

“We unfortunately have not managed to use our natural resources to ensure a prosperous and comfortable life for the residents of this country,” said Danish.

“Regarding the capacity and the issue it is the proper time for us to start the extraction of the mines,” said acting Afghan minister of mines and petroleum Nargis Nehan.

“Daesh terrorist group works hard to get access to the natural resources so that it can finance its terror activities through this,” said Ramazan Jumazada, head of the parliament’s natural resources commission.

In the meantime, a number of investors have criticized the Afghan government for its mining policy, saying it has suspended work on the mining sector and that this has impacted the economy of Afghanistan.

According to Afghan government officials, Afghanistan has rich mineral and natural resources. However there is a need for investment in the mining sector to boost Afghanistan’s economy.

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