Thursday, October 27, 2016

Special Event on Security and Economic Cooperation in Eurasia in the 21st Century

Statement of H.E. Foreign Minister Dr. Zalmai Rassoul at the

“Special Event on Security and Economic Cooperation in Eurasia in the 21st Century.”

Istanbul – June 7, 2010


Distinguished Colleagues,

I begin by thanking the government of Turkey for hosting the third CICA Summit, which brings together a unique and diverse group of countries from across Asia to promote regional and international peace and security. This year’s Summit is a reaffirmation of CICA’s commitment to stability in Asia and global security.

I’m also pleased at the opportunity to participate in this special forum on “Security and Economic Cooperation in Eurasia in the 21st Century.”


Ladies and Gentlemen,

It goes without saying that the 21st century sees us living in an interdependent world, in which common threats and challenges affect us all, irrespective of cultural, religious and geographical differences. I can say this for the menace of terrorism, which has proven its ability to strike anywhere, and at any time. This is clear with attacks across the globe: in Asia, Europe, Africa and North-America. This is also relevant with other challenges, including the global financial crisis, which led to economic hardships for millions around the world.

In this context, effective cooperation and collaboration is vital for overcoming present challenges and promoting global security. Achieving these requires effective collaboration: collaboration between and among states; states with regional and international organizations; and regional and international organizations amongst each other.

With regard to Afghanistan, thanks to the support of our international partners, today’s Afghanistan is much different than that of nine years ago, when our country served a base for international terrorism. We have come along way in promoting democracy, strengthening our state-institutions, and building our infrastructure, including roads, schools, hospitals and clinics.

In the coming years, we will work to implement our reinvigorated strategy for Afghanistan’s peace and stability. We will strive to increase Afghan security force capability to assume full security responsibility by the end of five years; enhance regional cooperation for addressing existing challenges; advance progress in the fight against corruption; as well as implement our comprehensive reconciliation strategy to consolidate peace and security across the country.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

We know that consolidating peace and security requires not only military efforts, but also an effective political approach. That is why just last week we convened a national consultative peace-jirga, which brought together 1,600 representatives from all segments of society, including tribal and religious figures, civil society, members of parliament and women rights groups. The resolution adopted at the conclusion of the jirga offers a clear guideline for a successful outreach initiative. And we will spare no effort to implement the jirga’s resolution.

We count on the support of the international community and relevant regional partners, particularly the brotherly government of Pakistan to support and assist our reconciliation initiative. We also reiterate our appeal to international partners to contribute to our “peace and reconciliation trust-fund.” By the same token, we also know that defeating terrorism and improving security will not be possible in the absence of an effective regional effort for addressing terrorist sanctuaries and safe-havens in the region. Such support centers are a main source of insecurity in Afghanistan, and unless they are addressed, we will fail to defeat terrorism. We therefore stress increased focus and attention by relevant actors for achieving this goal.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Achieving a stable and prosperous Afghanistan will not be possible without sustained international support. The progress achieved thus far is the result of the joint efforts and sacrifices of the Afghan people and international partners. In this regard, the OSCE has delivered an important contribution for Afghanistan’s stabilization. OSCE support ranges from election support and monitoring, to training of Afghan border officials to prevent trafficking of illegal activities, including terrorism, narcotic drugs and their chemical precursors, and organized crime. In that regard, we also appreciate OSCE/ODIHR’s decision to dispatch an election support team for our up-coming parliamentary elections.

We also reiterate OSCE’s continued support towards Afghanistan, not only in present areas of cooperation, but other also other areas, which will help improve the lives of Afghans.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Regional economic cooperation is another vital factor for the stability and prosperity of Afghanistan and the region. In our part, we will spare no effort to increase trade and transit with countries of the region.

A number of important projects to this effect, including the CASA 1000 and TAPI pipeline, aimed at energy and electricity transfer in the region are underway. The steady implementation of the said projects is essential for the further development and prosperity of our region. In this regard, we note with satisfaction that the issue of regional economic cooperation has been rightly highlighted in the Third CICA Summit declaration, to be adopted at the conclusion our Summit gathering.

As one of the founding members of CICA, Afghanistan is fully committed to the goals and objectives of this forum. We are grateful for the forum’s support of stabilization efforts in our country, and would appreciate an assessment of possible areas of specific cooperation with Afghanistan.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Afghanistan is an example of how various countries and regional and international organizations have come together for a common purpose and goal. Together, we come a long way, but much remains to be accomplished. Afghanistan fully supports the prospects of increased collaboration among the OSCE and CICA in relevant areas. Both the OSCE and CICA have proven effective in promoting regional and international peace and security. And we look for their continued role in support of a stable and prosperous Afghanistan.

I thank you.

The Resolution Adopted at the Conclusion of the National Consultative Peace Jirga

Loya Jirga Tent, Kabul

The National Consultative Peace Jirga (NCPJ) participated by 1,600 delegates representing the suffering nation of Afghanistan from all walks of life including from both Houses of the Parliament, Provincial Councils, religious scholars, tribal leaders, civil society organizations, Afghan refugees residing in Iran and Pakistan (Invitees had been divided into 13 categories) was held for consultation on seeking ways out for the insecurity and for a lasting peace in the country. Professor Burhanuddin Rabani was selected to chair the Jirga.

Delegates leave the peace jirga tent after hearing blasts from a rocket attack in Kabul June 2, 2010. More than 1,500 religious, tribal, and political leaders today called on the government to reconcile with the Taliban, handing President Hamid Karzai a mandate to try and persuade fighters to lay down their weapons and abandon their insurgency

Over the past three days, the delegates divided within various smaller working sessions debated proposals and details of each items of agenda and then took the issues to the general session and hereby agreed on the following:

– Recognizing our religious and national obligations and the need for peace as a vital and righteous demand of every Afghan citizen, we, the participants of the NCPJ fully support President Hamid Karzai’s commitment and initiative to consult the nation to reach through peaceful means to a lasting peace and end to the conflict and bloodshed.

– We recognize and thank the Muslim people of Afghanistan for the resilience, tolerance, patience and sacrifices they have made for a sustainable peace and public prosperity.

– The People of Afghanistan highly value the support by the international community and the United States in particular and for their help to rebuild our state institutions and infrastructure and call for their continued effective and institutional support and assistance.

– We express our gratitude for the sincere efforts by the Muslim countries especially by Saudi King (the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques) and Republic of Turkey to help ensure peace in our war stricken country and want that the efforts continue, speed up and expand.

– We the participants of the NCPJ have taken the following decisions and call on the government of Afghanistan and the parties in conflict to take all sincere, immediate and practical measures for its implementation:

Understanding, Negotiation and Agreement for Sustainable Peace

1. We, the participants of the NCPJ demand from all the parties engaged in conflict to act and comply by the teachings of Islam and respect the aspiration of the people of Afghanistan for lasting peace and ending war and fratricide through understanding and negotiations. The peace and reconciliation initiative shall be for and among Afghans only and does not include in anyway foreign extremist elements and international terrorist networks.

2. The government should develop a comprehensive program to follow up the peace process based on decisions by the NCPJ and change it into a national and standing strategy.

3. No peace efforts should bring to question the achievements made so far and its legal values and should not lead to a new crisis in the country.

4. For a sustainable peace to be ensured, strong and sincere commitments by all the parties concerned is a must. We, the participants seriously request that the aspiration of the people and of the Jirga members and their decisions be respected and put to practice, any action otherwise would be a major harm to the traditional value of the Jirga.

5. We call on all the parties involved to avoid setting such conditions that can make it impossible for the understanding and negotiations to start, but rather express their goodwill by taking constructive and flexible approaches for the dialogue to begin.

6. Avoiding any issues that can inflame ethnical, regional, linguistic, party, religious and political sensitivities and can strain the national unity must be placed as top working priorities for all parties concerned.

7. Providing for investment that can lead to economic, human resources and infrastructure development aimed at creating employment, poverty reduction and building capacity for Islamic and general education should be placed as top government programs.

Framework for Talks with the Disaffected

8. We call upon the government of Afghanistan and the international troops stationed in the country:

– as a gesture of a goodwill, to take immediate and solid action in freeing from various prisons those detained based on inaccurate information or unsubstantiated allegations;

– The government in agreement with the international community should take serious action in getting the names of those in opposition removed from the consolidated blacklist;

– The government and the international forces should guarantee security and safety for those who join the peace process and should provide for a safe return of those in armed opposition;

– International and Afghan forces are strongly requested to seriously avoid any unnecessary arrests and arbitrary searches of houses as well as aerial bombardment of residential areas that lead to civilian casualties;

– The government should take all required measures to be able to lead military operations and coordination among international forces operating in Afghanistan;

– The disaffected in armed opposition should renounce violence and all other activities that result in killing our people and destroying the infrastructure and should dissociate themselves from Alqaeda and other terrorist groups;

– The international community is suggested to expedite the process of equipping, training and strengthening Afghan national security forces, so they can get the capability in taking responsibility to provide security for their own country and people;

– We want and urge for a long-term international commitment, so Afghanistan does not become again a playground for regional conflicts, and that external interferences can be averted and thus space for stronger regional cooperation can be provided;

– We call on the international community to support the peace process led by the government of Afghanistan;

– The government with public support should take every necessary step to deliver good governance, make sure appointments are made on the basis of merits, and fight administrative and moral corruption as well as illegal property possession at national and provincial level. This is the key in boosting public confidence to the government and for a successful peace process;

– People of Afghanistan demand a just peace which can guarantee the rights of its all citizens including women and children. For the purpose of social justice, the Jirga urges that laws be applied equally on all citizens of the country;

9. we the participants of the Jirga call on scholars and clerics in mosques and the mass media including audio visual and print to fulfill their duties in promoting peace and preaching against violence;

10. We, the participants of the Jirga call upon our Muslim nation to join hands with the Government to bring an end to the current insecurity and instability and help make the process a success. The Government with cooperation from the people should take all required measures to ensure security and prevent destructive terrorist acts.

Developing Mechanism for Negotiation with the Disaffected

11. A high Peace Council or Commission should be created to follow up on the recommendations made by the Jirga and the Peace Process. The Commission would create by the passage of time its local offices at district and provincial levels and would be represented by different people including our patriotic brothers and sisters, religious scholars, tribal elders, a representative from each House of the parliament, and a person to represent the militants who have given up violence. The Commission shall form a special committee to handle the issues related to the release and return to normal life of the prisoners.

12. We, the participants of the Jirga commit ourselves to act as messengers of peace and take the message of the Jirga to our communities and our people in our areas and to cooperate with the local authorities, tribal elders, youth and the women for the objective of ensuring peace.

13. To win the international community’s support to the Jirga decisions, the Government of Afghanistan should include the Resolution in the agenda for the Kabul Conference.

14. The Government is responsible to continuously and transparently communicate to public any progress achieved in the peace process through a mechanism to be established.

15. The recommendations by the 28 Committees of the Jirga are attached to this resolution to be used in developing the Action Plan and Peace Strategy.

16. In conclusion, the Peace Jirga on behalf of the Muslim nation of Afghanistan strongly denounce the latest brutal raid by Israeli forces on a flotilla of humanitarian aid in the international waters aimed at breaking the blockade in Gaza for the oppressed Palestinians and express its heartfelt condolences and deep sympathies to the families of the victims and to the wounded. We call on the United Nations and the international community to end the oppressing blockade of Gaza.

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Afghanistan and Fiji

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan today established diplomatic relations with the Republic of Fiji through a Joint Communiqué in both English and Dari signed in New York by H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations, and H.E. Ambassador Peter Thomson, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Fiji to the United Nations. The Joint Communiqué expresses the “willingness to promote mutual understanding and strengthen the friendship and cooperation between the two States in the political, economic, social, humanitarian, cultural and scientific areas based upon the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter and the norms of international law.”

Ambassador Tanin emphasized the commitment of the Government of Afghanistan to work with the Republic of Fiji bilaterally, at the United Nations, and in other international for a, and expressed his hope that this step could be the beginning of fruitful and positive cooperation between the two nations.

For his part, Ambassador Thomson celebrated this occasion as a historic moment for the two countries and reiterated his country’s commitment to friendly and neighborly relations going forward.

The ceremony took place at the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations, where the two delegations met and enjoyed light refreshments as the Joint Communiqué was signed.


Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.