Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Turkey Hosts Succession of Afghanistan Summits ahead of London

President Karzai met with the presidents of Turkey and Pakistan in Istanbul on Monday in the fourth trilateral summit to discuss security matters and plans to reach out to some Taliban insurgents. The trilateral summit comes ahead of a regional summit in Istanbul on 26 January and an international conference in London on Thursday. On Sunday, ahead of the trilateral meeting, President Karzai met his Pakistani counterpart President Asif Ali Zardari in an informal gathering with a friendly atmosphere.

From left, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, his counterparts Abdullah Gul of Turkey and Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan are seen during a news conference after talks in Istanbul, Turkey, Monday, Jan. 25, 2010.

From left, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, his counterparts Abdullah Gul of Turkey and Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan are seen during a news conference after talks in Istanbul, Turkey, Monday, Jan. 25, 2010.

Talks with Taliban

A senior Pakistani official with knowledge of the diplomacy involving multiple governments told the Reuters news agency that initiatives were under way to begin negotiations with some factions of the Taliban. In an interview with British media earlier this month, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet DavutoÄŸlu said that Turkey was ready to try to persuade the Taliban to end the violence and take part in elections. “The Turks are among those working on negotiations with the Taliban — not all the Taliban, it’s being selectively done,” an anonymous official told Reuters. President Hamid Karzai is expected to announce the content of plans to reach out to the Taliban in Istanbul or London this week.

Security and Education Priority

Intelligence chiefs and military officials from Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan met before the trilateral summit and then joined the leaders later in the day, Turkish officials said. “We are talking about Afghan ownership,” said a Turkish diplomat. “We want to see a strong Afghanistan, a strong leadership. Hearts and minds of the Afghans have to be won.” Turkey places top priority on the training of the Afghan national army and police as well as the education of Afghans, especially girls. The education ministers of Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan met last week in Ankara and signed a joint statement in which Turkey pledged to contribute to the establishment of vocational schools, literacy and schooling of girls.

Regional Summit

The trilateral summit will be followed by a regional summit Tuesday in Istanbul that will include Iranian Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi, the Russian deputy prime minister and the foreign ministers of China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Britain will be represented by David Miliband and the United States by Richard Holbrooke, the country’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Tuesday’s regional summit will address a wide array of issues requiring regional responses, including trafficking of drugs, arms, and people; trade openness, transport, energy and security. The main aim is to generate a momentum towards regional cooperation in support of Afghanistan. The regional summit in Ä°stanbul will pave the way for an international conference in London on Jan. 28 that may set a timetable for transferring responsibility for some areas to Afghan control.

Biography of Dr.Zalmi.Rassoul Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Dr.Zalmi.Rassoul Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Dr.Zalmi.Rassoul Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

In January 2010 Dr. Zalmai Rassoul received the confidence vote of the Afghan National Assembly to serve as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Prior to his appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Zalmai Rassoul served as National Security Advisor of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan since June 2002. As National Security Adviser, Dr. Rassoul rendered a constructive role in collaborating activities of Afghan security institutions with Afghanistan’s foreign policy. Moreover, among his numerous responsibilities included conducting national threat assessments and National Security Policy

Dr. Rassoul has accompanied H.E. President Hamid Karzai on all official visits since the establishment of the Interim Administration in 2001.

Prior to his appointment as National Security Adviser by President Karzai, Dr. Rassoul was nominated by President Karzai as the Minister of Civil Aviation, and unanimously approved by the Cabinet in March 2002. Under his able leadership, Afghanistan’s aviation sector was revived after many years of United Nations sanctions against the Taliban and Afghanistan. Dr. Rassoul played an important role in Afghanistan’s readmission to the Int’l Civil Aviation Organization (IATA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Prior to his service in the current Afghan Government, Dr. Rassoul served as a delegate to the historic November 2001 Bonn Conference. Following the Bonn Conference, he accompanied President Karzai to Kabul for the inauguration of the Afghan Interim Administration.

Since 1998, Dr. Rassoul devoted his full attention to the convening of the Emergency Loya Jirga (Grand Assembly) as the director of the Secretariat of His Majesty, Mohammad Zaher Shah, the Former King of Afghanistan. Under Dr. Rassoul’s leadership, the Secretariat in Rome played a key role in the future political transition of Afghanistan. Prior to the Bonn Conference, His Majesty dispatched numerous delegations to world capitals, Afghanistan’s neighbors, and Afghanistan itself to build support for the convening of the Emergency Loya Jirga. Dr. Rassoul accompanied President Karzai, at that time a leading member of the Executive Committee of the Loya Jirga, on those missions. Dr. Rassoul was distinctly suited for this work as a result of his long term, close contact with Afghan resistance and his 1980 founding and publishing of the monthly publication Afghan Reality created to increase awareness and be a voice of information from inside Afghanistan to the international community regarding the plight of the Afghan people. Dr. Rassoul has been deeply politically active for several decades in the struggle for the freedom of Afghanistan and the right of the Afghan people to decide their future in accordance with their free will.

Dr. Rassoul was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and attended Istiqlal French High School where he graduated as the valedictorian. Subsequently, he traveled to France to study on a scholarship at the Paris Medical School and received his M.D. in 1973.

Dr. Rassoul is fluent in Dari, Pashto, French, English, and Italian and has a working knowledge of Arabic. He has over 30 publications in European and American medical journals and is a member of the American Society of Nephrology.

Ambassador Tanin is Guest of Honor at New York City Bar Association

Welcomed warmly as guest of honor at the New York City Bar Association, Ambassador Tanin addressed some 40 legal experts of the European Affairs and International Law Committees, Tuesday January 12th. Speaking on strengthening the rule of law in Afghanistan, H.E. Tanin stressed the importance of establishing security in Afghanistan as a pre-requisite. He further highlighted the urgency of complementing this focus on security with equally vigorous efforts in the field of governance.

Noting with concern that the Afghan Government has control of only 20 % of all international funds dispensed in Afghanistan, Ambassador Tanin emphasized the need for Afghan empowerment by the international community, enabling Afghans to take charge of security and governance in Afghanistan. Afghanization, he stressed, is crucial to ensure legitimacy in the eyes of the Afghan people.

Engaging his audience in an extensive discussion, the Ambassador underlined the progress that Afghanistan has made throughout the last eight years, in various fields such as education, women’s rights and health care. Citing a recent survey carried out in December 2009 by the BBC and ABC, he noted that in the wake of the 2009 elections, notwithstanding international perceptions, 70 % of the Afghan population believes the country is moving in the right direction, compared to 40 % a year ago.