Friday, October 21, 2016

Security Council Debate on the Situation in Afghanistan

STATEMENT BY  H.E. Mahmoud Saikal

Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations

Security Council Debate on the Situation in Afghanistan

(check against delivery)

14 September 2016



بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

Thank you Mr. President. At the outset, let me congratulate New Zealand for its successful leadership of the Council this month. We express our gratitude to the Secretary-General for his recent report on the situation in my country. We welcome Ambassador Tadamichi Yamamoto as the new Special Representative of the Secretary General and thank him for his first briefing to the Council. We look forward to working closely with him, and wish him every success in the important task.

Mr. President,

Since the Council’s last deliberations on Afghanistan on June 21, the country has seen increased armed clashes and suicide attacks, with high civilian casualties, testing our resilience and bringing the peace process to an impasse. During the same time, thanks to continuing support of the international community, we have maintained steady progress to enhance the capacity, capability, professionalism, and sustainability of Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF).

In the midst of vibrant democratic debates as a key feature of recent political developments, the reform agenda of the National Unity Government (NUG), in line with Agenda 2030, is bearing fruit. Afghanistan has achieved progress in regional trade and infrastructure connectivity, anti-corruption, governance, rule of law and human rights, legal reform, restoring fiscal sustainability and integrity of public finance, commercial banking, development planning, social inclusion, and private sector development.

Mr. President,

During this summer, the world witnessed terror spread wildly across the globe, with major attacks in nearly twenty countries in three continents. From Libya to Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Yemen, Turkey, Syria, Bangladesh, France, Mali, Germany, India, Angola, Congo, Pakistan, Nigeria, and the Philippines, terrorist attacks took many innocent lives and inflicted huge damage.

It is clear that as terrorist groups face international pressure in the core, they attempt to strengthen their symbiotic networks and resort to more desperate attacks far and wide.

Afghanistan has also seen an increase in large scale terrorist attacks. In June, Daesh affiliates terrorized villagers in Nangarhar. A few days later, the Taliban targeted new police recruits outside Kabul. In July, Daesh affiliates struck again, this time against a peaceful civilian demonstration in Kabul. In August, Taliban targeted tourist buses in Heart, followed by an attack on university students in Kabul. In September, they targeted civilians, security officials, and an aid group in Kabul. All together, around 180 people, predominantly civilians lost their lives and 435 were wounded in these attacks, with extensive damage to infrastructure. Among the victims were scores of our educated and talented youth who were committed to the rehabilitation and development of their country.

President Ashraf Ghani on August 25 called Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff and asked for serious and practical measures against the organizers of the attack on the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul.

The savage attacks in populated urban centers showcased the cowardly behavior of the terrorist groups and their supporters to compensate for their so-called spring offensive losses. We have evidence that most of these attacks were orchestrated outside Afghanistan. Last week, we seized two trailer trucks entering Afghanistan from Pakistan with 35,700 kg of ammonium nitrate – an amount nearly twenty times larger than what was used in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. Let us take a second to imagine the magnitude of devastation, had the attack(s) been carried out against us or our allies.

Judging from previous experience, as we approach the UN General Assembly Session, the second anniversary of the NUG of Afghanistan and the forthcoming Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, the Taliban and other terrorist groups may escalate their attacks to gain international visibility.

Mr. President,

Growing violent extremism and terror worldwide is proof that the current pace of counter-terrorism efforts is at best, lax, compared to the magnitude of the threat. Current efforts remain scattered, slow, and at times static, and have proven incapable to match the sophistication and ever changing tactics of global terror for its eventual defeat, as far as Afghanistan’s experience is concerned. As a strategic imperative, we must move beyond rhetoric and address the enablers of terrorism, including the role of state elements in orchestrating and facilitating the growth of terror. We need to review the state of UN counter-terrorism efforts to identify and address gaps in the implementation, and assess what needs to be done by relevant UN agencies to achieve results and effectively fulfill their mandates.

The Taliban’s brutal attacks have continued in different parts of the country, with particular focus on Helmand, Kunduz and Paktia provinces. Their aim is to create a durable political geography inside Afghanistan for the Quetta Shura and Haqqani leadership.

The response from the ANDSF has been remarkable. Successive Taliban and Daesh attacks were repulsed in different parts of the country, which proves that these extremist factions do not have the capacity to hold territory anywhere in Afghanistan. However, we are putting in place measures to preempt rather than react to their attacks. I am pleased to report that in line with my government’s five-year National Campaign Plan, focusing on reconciliation, security and stability, the mobility and effectiveness of our security forces have further improved Afghanistan’s resilience to the ongoing security challenges.

Moving forward, the continued support of our international partners remains critically important. We welcome the outcome of the NATO Warsaw Summit last July, which extended the Resolute Support Mission beyond 2016, reaffirmed continuing national contributions to the financial sustainment of the ANDSF until the end of 2020 and enhanced our enduring partnership with NATO. We have committed to further strengthen our security institutions and ensure service delivery within the rule of law. We will continue to increase our financial contribution to ANDSF. The empowerment of women will continue in all aspects of Afghan society, including service in ANDSF and political processes, as well as full implementation of Afghanistan’s National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325. We have already taken necessary measures to protect children from the effects of armed conflict and have witnessed good, measurable results.

Mr. President,

Despite our constant outreach and efforts at the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG), Pakistan is yet to utilize the opportunity to play genuine peacemaker. It deserves attention that based on the QCG roadmap they must take necessary measures against irreconcilable Taliban elements to win international community’s due recognition as a serious and genuine partner in the fight against terrorism.

We thank the Organization of Islamic Cooperation for its renewed focus on promoting peace in Afghanistan. We welcome the upcoming Ulema Conference in Mecca and Medina which will bring together global Islamic scholars to denounce violence in Afghanistan.

Mr. President,

On 21 September we will celebrate the second anniversary of the signing of the Agreement of National Unity Government of Afghanistan. We are committed to the full implementation of the Agreement. Discussions are ongoing among the leadership of the NUG to address the overdue commitments stipulated in the Agreement.

Let me assure this Council that our entire political elite, irrespective of ethnic and linguistic backgrounds, and political standing, is committed to preserving the national interest of Afghanistan, with full support behind our national security forces. Developments, perceived by some as “tensions” in the National Unity Government, and “rising pressures” by political opposition groups, are part of a routine exercise of democratic debate, and a hallmark of our vibrant society, where citizens express their views in accordance with their democratic rights. The 2016 World Press Freedom Index ranks Afghanistan higher than all its neighbors and 4th among 13 countries of South and Central Asia, in terms of ensuring a culture of free speech. We will work to improve political stability through healthy dialogue over outstanding issues.

Mr. President,

I am pleased to present the highlights of our achievements from the past three months. Afghanistan’s development needs are being driven by our extensive reform measures to curb corruption, improve service delivery, and promote transparency. Our collaboration with regional partners has resulted in projects that would transform the economic landscape of our part of the world. We have already seen the inauguration of TAPI, CASA-1000, and Chabahar Port Agreement, all of which present opportunities for regional cooperation at an unprecedented scale.

In August, we completed a major housing project of 2015 residential units in Kabul.  Additional projects are underway to provide over 11000 residential units, with support from China and Qatar.

Last week, for the first time in the history of Sino-Afghan relations, a special cargo train between the two countries was officially welcomed in Hairatan of Afghanistan. Also as part of Khaf-Herat railway project, an Iranian train entered Afghan soil, offering new opportunities for increased economic activity. Such developments reflect a spirit of constructive cooperation for mutual benefit in our region. We urge other neighbors to adopt a similar approach, and to avoid measures which undermine relations, such as the closing of entry ports, trade blockades, shelling and illegal construction activities along our south eastern territory.

We urge the Government of Pakistan to choose the path of cooperation to reinforce constructive relations and trust-building, a fundamental pre-condition for peace and stability for both our countries. To this effect, we note with satisfaction the announcement on the completion of Pakistan-funded health projects in Afghanistan by year’s end.

As a principle component of our foreign policy, we are convinced that regional cooperation and multilateralism are catalysts for peace and prosperity. In this respect, we look forward to the upcoming Afghanistan-India-US trilateral meeting, to be held on the margins of the 71st UNGA. Let me just inform the Council that President Ghani is now in New Delhi and India just announced $1 billion dollars of aid towards development in Afghanistan. We thank India for that.

Mr. President,

The Anti-Corruption Justice Center and High Council on Governance, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption are already operational, addressing Government corruption cases. Our judicial sector is being revitalized by a set of bold measures. More than 600 judges have been replaced, with 60 judicial officials being prosecuted for corruption and mal-practice. We have also announced new appointments and conducted performance reviews to instill a culture of transparency in our state-institutions.

In tandem with our economic achievements, our social sector is reaching new heights, with women increasingly assuming leadership positions at different levels of government. There are more women in senior government positions now than at any other time in Afghan history. Among them there are four ministers, nine deputy ministers, one governor, one deputy head of the High Peace Council and a number of senior diplomats at leadership level. The Ministry of Interior has opened six new child protection units in police recruitment centers, bringing the total to 13 in the country. We are committed to the protection of children and have prohibited security forces from using schools for military purposes. We are working on the national policy on civilian casualty mitigation which will be adopted across all Government institutions to better protect our citizens.

However, mainly due to continuous attacks by the Taliban and other terrorist groups, the number of internally displaced people has risen, especially in rural areas. Food insecurity and lack of adequate healthcare remains a challenge within this group, and the Government is focusing its resources to mitigate this crisis. Under the voluntary repatriation program, the number of returnees has increased significantly. The number of Afghan migrants to Europe has also fallen compared to 2015. We are grateful to the UN and our international partners for the continued humanitarian assistance.

On counter-narcotics, despite some increase in production and cultivation of opium, we are focused on continuing eradication efforts despite the security challenges. We are pleased with the outcome of the 9th session of the Regional Working Group of Precursors meeting, which, among other issues, identified next steps forward in precursor trafficking.

Mr. President,

The forthcoming Brussels Conference on Afghanistan will be an opportunity to showcase our long fought and hard won achievements to the global community. The focus will be on the joint international and Afghan efforts to increase the effectiveness of sustained international support, multiple Afghan reform measures, including public finance management and anti-corruption, as well as regional efforts to achieve peace and economic prosperity. The preparations for this conference are ongoing and we have presented the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework to our partners for their final inputs.

Mr. President,

In conclusion, the global security scenario is undergoing significant changes and Afghanistan’s role in the fight against terrorism remains pivotal. We have long suffered at the hands of extremists and paid a very steep price through the blood and sacrifices of our people in standing up against it. For innumerable Afghans, the promise of a peaceful future has been robbed due to years of instability. However, in the past fifteen years, the Government of Afghanistan, along with many of our international friends, including the United Nations have worked hard to revive faith in the values we cherish—freedom, democracy, good governance, rule of law and human rights for all. We look forward to seeing you at the Brussels conference to reiterate pledges of support to Afghanistan, and refocus on the long road ahead in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism. A win for Afghanistan in this realm would be a win for the world, and we would be safer and prosperous together.

Thank You Mr. President.



Ambassador Saikal addresses Afghan diplomats visiting New York

Afg_diplomats2_23Aug2016On Tuesday, August 23, Ambassador Mahmoud Saikal welcomed 15 young Afghan diplomats to the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the UN. The diplomats are in the United States to attend a two week training program on diplomatic craft and management skills. This program is a partnership between the U.S. State Department and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China and was organized by Meridian, in partnership with the Public Diplomacy Council. The aim of the program is to provide delegates with a strong understanding of the diplomatic process and requisite protocol, including employing proper terminology and drafting diplomatic correspondence.


Ambassador Saikal gave the diplomats an overview of the work done by the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in New York. He emphasized on the role of  UN and relations between member states and the UN and its agencies, work done by the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan at the UN, and procedures for running the Mission. Given the importance of the UN and its mandate in Afghanistan, it is imperative for our diplomats to learn more about multilateral organizations and diplomacy in that purview. The 15 Afghan diplomats finished their visit to New York by a tour of the United Nations.



NATO Summit Warsaw 2016


Transcript of H.E. President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani’s Remarks at Warsaw Summit

9 July 2016

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Mr. Secretary General, Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government, Ladies and Gentlemen!

Thank you for the opportunity to provide an Afghan perspective on NATO, threats to our interconnected world and our efforts to secure the future.  On behalf of a grateful nation, I pay tribute to your citizens who paid the ultimate price to ensure our freedom.  We thank political leaders, generals and officers, and the men and women who have fought shoulder to shoulder with us. We thank the taxpayers and the civilians from your countries who have dedicated their lives to helping us recover from the estimated $240 billion of economic losses inflicted on us by invasion and conflict.

NATO has maintained its relevance and effectiveness in the paradigm shift presented by post-9/11 Afghanistan.  The organization’s fulfillment of both its combat and support missions in Afghanistan is a corroboration of NATO’s continued global relevance, adaptability and effectiveness.  Its transformative legacy, however, is building our 352,000 strong security and defense forces.

Having assumed full responsibility for national security in December 2014, our all-volunteer forces have displayed commitment to the nation and the constitution through immense sacrifice, thereby earning unprecedented public support and trust.  They are resilient in the face of adversity, and they have made constant improvements in efficiently and effectively coordinating and building systems of leadership and management. These developments have enabled them to face and overcome a series of vicious attacks from forces of disorder and terrorism in 2016.

Thanks to our joint investment in our security institutions, Dr. Abdullah, the CEO, and I can confidently state that the combat role of NATO in Afghanistan is over for good.   Our confidence derives from our national resolve and the constructive partnership between our National Unity Government and NATO.   Having signed the BSA and SOFA on our first day in office, we created an environment of mutual respect and trust befitting foundational partners.   We thank President Obama for expanding the authorities of the Resolute Support Mission, extending the mission of the US troops in 2015, and his latest decision to maintain American troops throughout his term.    We are grateful to leaders of the Framework countries and all leaders of NATO and allied countries for support that ranges from troops, to enablers and funds for our security forces. General Campbell and General Nicholson deserve praise from all of us for their leadership.

Coping continuously with the specter of terrorism, we Afghans have special empathy and sympathy for victims of the Fifth Wave of political violence that threatens our interconnected world today.   Global connectivity simultaneously increases our collective vulnerability to this new threat. We believe that the range of organized forms and techniques of violence today draws on previous waves of violence throughout history: anarchism, anti-colonialism, terrorism of the 1960’s and 70s, and violent ethnic and identity movements of the 1980’s and 90s.   The symbiotic relationship between criminal economic networks–manifested in drug and natural resource wars–and criminal politics is making this Fifth Wave a medium term obstacle to global stability.

Overcoming the obstacle requires simultaneous action on four fronts: national, regional, Islamic and global.   Our national focus is directed at owning and solving our interrelated security, economic, and political transitions.  Through increasing national revenue by 22%, we are meeting our Chicago commitments to the financing of our forces.

The key to our success lies primarily in our ability to transform the culture of the state from entrenched corruption to a citizen-centered governance system.   As a test of our political will, we ask all our partners to deliver their assistance on budget, and make it conditional on fulfillment of agreed benchmarks. This is an approach that we have successfully piloted with the IMF and the US. I thank Prime Minister Cameron for his leadership on anti-corruption as an international problem.

Afghanistan is a stakeholder society per excellence and we are proud of our record of respect for democratic freedoms of expression and assembly.   An Afghan-owned agenda of reform translated into a conditionality-based international compact for on-budget support would enable us to converge the needs of key stakeholder groups –especially women, youth and the poor – and the government’s reform agenda. This, in turn, would enable us to increase the speed of delivery, enhance the quality of services and ensure accountability and transparency.

Peace is our highest national priority.  Reaching peace, however, requires understanding the nature of the war imposed upon us.  The conflict is multi-dimensional, ranging from Al-Qaeda and Daesh to terrorist groups with Central Asian, Chinese, and Russian origins, to Pakistani groups classified as terrorists by Pakistan and Afghan Taliban groups.   Because these groups pose a threat to the region, the Islamic community and the world at large, we have devoted significant efforts to achieve cooperation regionally and within the Islamic community to defeat these groups.

Our regional initiatives with neighbors are beginning to yield significant cooperative dividends. The exception is with Pakistan–despite clear commitments to a quadrilateral peace process, their dangerous distinction between good and bad terrorists is being maintained in practice.  The key problem among our neighboring states is an absence of agreed rules of the game, thus we seek regional and global support in creating those rules, which will bind us to collective security and harmony.

The discussions within the Arab-Muslim community have also been productive, especially the 2015 Mecca declaration against terrorism.  The terrorist attack against the Mosque of the Holy Prophet in Medina has outraged the Muslim community and should result in a consensus against the tiny minority that is attempting to hijack our civilization.

Global attention to Afghanistan has been exceptional and we, once again, thank you for your strategic focus and patience.   Today, from the Warsaw Summit, we hope for a clear signal of support for the heroic deeds of our soldiers and the hopes and aspirations of our people.   With your resolute support, we will redouble our efforts to create a democratic constitutional order and an accountable and effective state that can bring peace to our people and secure our future from the menace of terrorism.  Proud as I am of serving as the commander-in-chief of our heroic forces, the epithet that I would like to be remembered by is the peace and development president who served as a catalyst to making Afghanistan once again into an Asian Roundabout.   Poland has been a great host and we thank the government for its hospitality.


Remarks By H.E. Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Nato Summit, Warsaw

JULY 09, 2016

Excellencies, Heads of States and Governments,

Mr. Secretary General,

Distinguished Delegates and Partners;

I want to start off by thanking our partners, each and every member state of NATO, as well as all other associate nations that have, since 2003 till now, helped us try to make Afghanistan a more secure and stable country.

Back in 2003, as foreign minister in the new transitional government, I clearly remember the discussions that eventually led to a wider international presence across Afghanistan. At a time when we Afghans were busy with the rebuilding of state security institutions, laying a democratic foundation for a constitutional political order, and attempting to revitalize our war-battered economy.

NATO’s first-ever deployment beyond the Euro-Atlantic area, mandated by the United Nations, and under the umbrella of International Security Assistance Forces in Kabul and the surrounding areas in Afghanistan, was not only historic, but also proved to be the right decision given the domestic and regional dynamics at play back then. Unfortunately, some of these dynamics are still at play today.

Looking back at recent history, some of us failed to grasp, the strategy that enabled the reemergence of militant cells that enjoyed sanctuaries and staging grounds in our neighborhood. But that strategy, in the face of Afghan resolve and international steadfastness, has failed and I am certain, it will never succeed.

During the past decade, thanks in large part to all of your nations’ generous contributions that made Afghanistan an example of international cooperation, and the role played by thousands of young military men and women personnel from more than 60 countries, the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces grew in numbers, and more importantly, in terms of capacities, heralding the end of the international combat engagement in 2014, and the start of a new era of cooperation and assistance under the Resolute Support mission.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

I can say with confidence that the Afghan nation benefited greatly from the NATO engagement, not only in the security sector, but also with the concurrent civilian deployments to bridge the gap between reconstruction and security in many parts of Afghanistan.

We are most touched and humbled by each and every man and woman, military and civilian, who served with honor and paid the ultimate price in the line of duty. Their sacrifices were not in vain, and serve a much greater cause affecting humanity as a whole, and those who seek a better and, safer and more democratic world. Alongside our own brave citizens, who have fallen, we salute all of your heroes, whose legacy forms a strong bond of friendship between our nations.


As we embark on a new chapter following the decisions taken made at the Wales Summit two years ago, I can also assure this audience that despite major efforts underway by our common foes to make significant gains during the 2015-16 battle seasons timeframe, our forces, assisted by your advisors and trainers, have thwarted enemy plans, albeit at a very high cost to our brave forces and our resilient civilian population.

We are grateful to NATO for the timely decisions taken made over the past two years, and now again, at this critical moment to renew the mission’s mandate, as well as President Obama’s principled decision to keep 8,400 troops in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is on the frontlines against various types of threats, including Taliban, Da’ish and Al-Qa’ida, and our partnership matters to our people as well as yours. Afghanistan will do all that is necessary to fulfill its pledges, defend its people, protect its decade-long gains achievements, aim for a peaceful end to conflict, and continue to be a responsible member of the international community in our fight against terrorism and extremism. Our experience shows that the Afghan chapter will eventually come to a satisfactory closure, once we act with strategic consistency and purpose, to aim for a just and lasting peace through talks – when and where they may take place.

Both President Ghani and I, representing the National Unity Government, joined by the overwhelming majority of the Afghan people, thank every one of you, especially Poland for hosting this forum, and look forward to achieving our strategic goals for a stable Afghanistan, secure region and peaceful world. //



















Summit Declaration

Warsaw Summit Declaration on Afghanistan

Issued by the Heads of State and Government of Afghanistan and Allies and their Resolute Support Operational Partners

  1. We, the Heads of State and Government of the nations contributing to the Resolute Support mission, and the President and Chief Executive of the National Unity Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, met today in Warsaw1 to reaffirm our mutual commitment to ensure long-term security and stability in Afghanistan.
  2. We pay tribute to the efforts of all the members of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces and of the Resolute Support mission, and we honour those who have lost their lives or been injured since our efforts began.
  3. Afghanistan will not stand alone. Together with the rest of the international community, our aim remains that Afghanistan will never again become a safe haven for terrorists who can pose a threat to our security; and that it is able to sustain its own security, governance, and economic and social development, while respecting human rights for all of its citizens, notably those of women and children.
  4. Since our Wales Summit, Afghanistan, with the support of the international community, has continued to make advances, including in democratic processes, education, healthcare, human rights including those of women, and free media. But Afghanistan still faces serious challenges, and further efforts are needed for the country to fully safeguard and consolidate our joint achievements. This includes in areas such as: electoral reforms, empowerment of women, combating corruption, countering narcotics trafficking, and to ensure a stable security environment, job creation, and improve economic opportunities, which would have an important impact on migration.
  5. Since January 2015, the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces have maintained full responsibility for security throughout the country. Since then, at the request of the Afghan National Unity Government, the non-combat, conditions-based Resolute Support mission is providing training, advice and assistance to allow Afghanistan to continue to build professionally trained and well equipped defence and security forces which are demonstrating remarkable resilience and courage in meeting the challenges they face. While the Afghan Security Institutions and forces continue to develop and make progress, challenges and capability gaps persist, and they continue to need international support.
  6. Therefore, NATO and its operational partners have today committed to:
    1. Sustain the Resolute Support mission beyond 2016 through a flexible, regional model, to continue to deliver training, advice and assistance to the Afghan Security Institutions including the police, the air force and special operations forces. We will continue to keep the mission and its configuration under review;
    2. Continue national contributions to the financial sustainment of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces, including until the end of 2020. We also urge the wider international community to remain engaged in the financial sustainment of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces;
    3. Strengthen and enhance the Enduring Partnership between NATO and Afghanistan established at the 2010 Lisbon Summit, to further develop our long-term partnership including through political dialogue and practical cooperation.
  7. Afghanistan, including with the continued support of NATO and its operational partners, commits to:
    1. Strengthen further the Afghan Security Institutions and forces, including particularly enhancing their leadership skills; and ensure they are fully capable of providing security for the Afghan people; operate under effective civilian control; respect human rights; and act in accordance with the Afghan constitution and the rule of law;
    2. Continue, as its economy and revenues grow, to increase its contribution to the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces, with the aim of assuming financial responsibility for its security forces by the end of the Transformation Decade in 2024, in accordance with the 2012 Chicago Summit Declaration;
    3. Continue to pursue reforms; including to root out corruption; promote transparency and accountability; and foster economic development;
    4. Build on recent achievements in empowering women to participate fully in all aspects of Afghan society, including service in the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces; and political processes; and fully implement Afghanistan’s National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325;
    5. Take further steps to protect children from the damaging effects of armed conflict, and from violations of their rights, as required by UNSCR 1612 and other relevant UNSC Resolutions; and strengthen the capacity of the Afghan security institutions and forces to protect civilians.
  8. Good neighbourly relations, and regional cooperation and support to a secure and stable Afghanistan, remain essential. We welcome the role played by the Istanbul Process in supporting the Heart of Asia region which includes Afghanistan. A stable and prosperous Afghanistan will support a stable and prosperous region.
  9. We reaffirm our belief that an inclusive Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process, which respects the Afghan constitution and human rights, including notably the rights of women, is the pathway to a sustainable resolution of the conflict. The region and the international community at large must respect and support such a process and its outcome.
  10. The NATO-led efforts contribute to the wider international efforts, and we look forward to the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan in October this year.
  11. Our task is not yet complete, and we remain resolute and united in our commitment to a secure and stable Afghanistan.
  1. In the presence of Japan and the Republic of Korea.