Thursday, September 29, 2016

Ambassador Tanin Chairs Palestinian Committee Meeting in Vienna

H.E. Mr. Zahir Tanin, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations and head of the delegation of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, chaired the opening session of the United Nations’ Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People which is taking place today and tomorrow in Vienna, Austria.  H.E. Johannes Kyrle, Secretary-General for Foreign Affairs of Austria, and Mr. Maxwell Gaylard, representative of the Secretary-General, spoke as well. H.E. Mr. Ali Al-Jarbawi, Palestinian Representative and Minister of Planning and Administrative Development of the Palestinian Authority, delivered the keynote address. Following the opening session, plenary meetings were conducted with participants including governmental delegations, NGOs, and UN system entities.

Ambassador Tanin Chairs Palestinian Committee Meeting in Vienna

The Seminar is on “Palestine: Ending the occupation and establishing the State”. “Our committee’s position is that the illegal Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territory must end without conditions,” said Ambassador Tanin, who is also Vice Chair of the Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, in his opening remarks. He reiterated the support of the Committee for the just Palestinian demands and added that an end to the occupation should pave the way for a creation of an independent Palestinian State on all territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem. Mr. Tanin also stressed the importance of progress in the political area. He predicted that in two years time, if such progress was made, a clearly defined Palestinian State based on the pre-1967 boarders could be enshrined in a United Nations Security Council Resolution.

Further, Ambassador Tanin expressed the Committee’s gratitude for international support and beseeched the international community for specific donations to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and to ease devastating impediments on Palestinians in the West Bank. Donor support, he stated, is absolutely necessary to “promoting sustainable economic development and building institutions of the future Palestinian state”.

Tonight, Ambassador Tanin will host a reception for the participants of the Seminar. The Seminar will continue through the 25th of March, and will be followed by a meeting of Civil Society members on 26th March.

President Karzai Visits China

President Karzai arrived in Beijing on Tuesday for a three-day state visit, accompanied by a delegation of ministers and businessmen. Scheduled meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and top legislator Wu Bangguo focused on mutual economic interests. Three agreements were signed on Wednesday concerning economic cooperation, training programs and the granting of preferential tariffs for some Afghan exports to China.

The Presidents signed agreements on trade and economic cooperation aimed at boosting commerce and investment between the two neighbors. Trade between Afghanistan and China amounted to US$155 million in 2008 (according to Chinese figures).

Mr Karzai said that China played a “very important role in the stability of Afghanistan and the region.” Since 2002, when President Karzai made his first trip to China as head of the transitional government, China has provided $175 million in aid to Afghanistan. More recently, Beijing granted another $75 million.

Chinese President Hu Jintao congratulated Mr Karzai on his reelection during their meeting at the Great Hall of the People.  Both Presidents also condemned terrorism and Mr Hu said both countries should “actively strike at terrorism, separatism and religious extremism and organized cross-border crimes in an effort to maintain regional peace and stability.”

President Karzai will also deliver a speech at Peking University.

Afghan and US Leaders Urge for Continued Strategic Partnership

Arg. Kabul: President Hamid Karzai spoke with President Obama for over an hour on Monday evening via video teleconference on a wide range of issues of bilateral importance.

President Karzai underscored the importance of the need to provide help and assistance to the families of the war victims and those who suffered in the suicide bombings and asked for the US assistance, which President Obama agreed in principle and emphasized that those who suffered as result of war need to be assisted.

Both the leaders discussed potentials for enhancing cooperation and reaffirmed mutual resolve for continued strategic partnership.

The other topic of discussion was the strengthening of governance both in national and sub-national level for which both sides agreed on further cooperation.

On regional issues, President Karzai echoed the concern of the Afghan people who don’t want to see their country turn into a battle filed for proxy wars between other countries, on which both the leaders agreed.

President Obama reaffirmed the US long term commitment for a prosperous and stable Afghanistan.

During the video call, President Karzai briefed the US President on Afghanistan’s efforts for acceleration of the peace and reconciliation process, which President Obama welcomed and declared support. Both President Karzai and President Obama urged that Afghan government and its international partners should follow a unified single approach for the process to succeed.

Both sides agreed on steps and measures for the follow-up on the commitments made in the London Conference in different areas including security, governance, peace and reconciliation, corruption, transparent elections and regional cooperation.