Statements

Statements (22)

Joint Statement on the U.S. - Afghanistan – Uzbekistan Trilateral Meeting

May 27, 2020 

The text of the following statement was released by the governments of the United States of America, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan on the occasion of the inaugural U.S. - Afghanistan – Uzbekistan Trilateral Meeting. 

Begin Text:  

Representatives of the governments of the United States of America, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan convened via video teleconference May 27 for the inaugural United States - Afghanistan – Uzbekistan Trilateral meeting.  The meeting was co-chaired by American Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale, Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammed Haneef Atmar, and Uzbekistan Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov.   

Participants reaffirmed the importance of trilateral discussions to address mutual issues of concern including political, security, economic, and human development matters. To this end, participants: 

  • Committed to greater cooperation among themselves, and called on countries of the region and the broader international community, to promote the Afghanistan peace process and to support the goal of a durable political settlement preserving the gains of the past 18 years to end the war in that country;       
  • Welcomed the conclusion of the May 17 political agreement to form an inclusive Afghan government and to create a High Council for National Reconciliation, both of which should help move the peace process forward;
  • Affirmed the urgency of starting intra-Afghan negotiations to discuss a comprehensive ceasefire and a political roadmap for Afghanistan’s future;
  • Welcomed the historic Eid ceasefire and the decision by Afghan leadership this week to expedite the release of Taliban prisoners, including the more than 900 prisoners released since that decision was taken, and urged the continued release of prisoners by both the Afghan Government and the Taliban consistent with the U.S.-Taliban agreement of February 29;    
  • Encouraged the continuation of the Eid ceasefire; noted the necessity of Afghanistan not returning to pre-ceasefire levels of violence; and noted the urgency of eliminating civilian casualties in order to create an environment conducive for peace and delivery of essential life-saving services to fight the COVID-19 pandemic; and 
  • Took note of the U.S.-Afghanistan Joint Declaration and the U.S.-Taliban agreement of February 29 and affirmed Taliban and Islamic Republic of Afghanistan commitments to prevent any international terrorist groups or individuals, including al-Qa’ida and ISIS, from using Afghan soil; to this end, the sacrifices of the Afghan National Security Forces and its international partners are greatly appreciated.

Consistent with the needs of our citizens, participants further agreed that the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the need to: strengthen cooperation to respond to public health crises; maintain flows of essential goods and services across borders, including critical medical supplies and foodstuffs; and respond to economic shocks.  

Through the trilateral format, the participants intend to deepen cooperation through the following priority areas:  

  • Developingsecurity cooperation and intensifying joint efforts to combat cross-border threats along the frontier between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, and to address issues such as terrorism, drug and precursor trafficking, smuggling, illegal migration, human trafficking, and wildlife trafficking throughout the region;  
  • Improving rail connectivity, including increasing the volume of freight transit traffic between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan and beyond, with a view to the uninterrupted delivery of food, essential goods, medications, especially in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, and improving regional transit integration.
  • Promoting trade between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan by reviewing and improving legal frameworks, policy reforms, sharing of information, use of appropriate technology, risk management, investment in infrastructure and human resources and removing constraints and bottlenecks, including through the development of the Free Economic Zone at the Termez border crossing;
  • Discussing the construction of railways linking Uzbekistan with ports in Pakistan and beyond, in particular, discussion of the feasibility of construction of railways along the Mazar-e-Sharif-Herat-Bahramcha and Mazar-e-Sharif-Kabul-Torkham routes;
  • Mitigating the consequences of COVID-19 on food security;  
  • Supporting regional energy projects such as CASA-1000 (the Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project), Central Asia Regional Electricity Market (CAREM), multi-lateral development bank electricity transmission projects,  the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Pipeline, and the construction of the 500 kilovolt Surkhan-Puli-Khumri(Khoja-Alvan) power transmission line;  
  • Expanding opportunities for people-to-people exchanges and joint training, including at the Afghan Training Center in Termez;  
  • Increasing humanitarian engagement between our peoples, including through coordination to confront the current pandemic, future public health crises, and natural disasters;  
  • Promoting women’s equality and economic empowerment so that women can serve as drivers of the response to and recovery from the impacts COVID-19;and
  • Establishing a working group to implement the decisions made under this trilateral.  

The participants look forward to continuing and expanding these discussions in person, as soon as public health conditions permit. 

Remarks Delivered by H.E. Mohammad Haroon Chakhansuri – Acting Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at the Open-Ended Extraordinary meeting of the OIC Executive Committee at the Level of Foreign Ministers

Remarks Delivered by H.E. Mohammad Haroon Chakhansuri – Acting Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at the Open-Ended Extraordinary meeting of the OIC Executive Committee at the Level of Foreign Ministers
to Discuss the Implications of US Administration’s Peace Plan (Deal of the Century) announced on 28 January 2020
Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
----------------------
Excellency Mr. Chairman, Excellency the Secretary General, Honorable Foreign Minister State of Palestine, Excellencies Foreign Ministers and Representatives of the Member States.
We meet at the time of immense challenges and opportunities in this extremely vital gathering; we are here to discuss and take a collective stand on the implications of the US Administration Plan known as Deal of the Century announced late January 2020.
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan stands firmly with the Muslim Ummah and supports the collective decision of the member states and the two-state solution based on 1967 Palestine territory with the city of East Al Quds Sharif as an eternal capital for the state of Palestine.
We strongly believe, any mutually acceptable peace deal must be backed by international laws and UN Security Council resolutions.
As H.E. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan stated at the Extraordinary Islamic Summit Conference, in Istanbul on 18th May 2018:
“The question of Palestine is a question of the Arab world, the Muslim world and the world at large. Failure to address it has robbed several generations of stability and prosperity. Continual failure to address it could deprive us of the opportunity to replace the unfolding clash of civilizations with a genuine dialogue of civilization.
I pray that we rise to overcome our collective challenges. The people of Palestine, whose suffering has brought us here, want more than our sympathy.
They want our support to break the vicious circle that has robbed them of leading dignified lives. I trust that we translate our collective pain into collective action. ”
Excellencies:
In conclusion, I would like to thank the Custodian of the two Mosques, the Chairman, the OIC Secretariat for organizing this meeting. I would also like to thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for being the host country.

Thank you!

Statement by H.E. Edrees Zaman Acting Foreign Minister of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at the 26th OSCE Ministerial Meeting

Bratislava- Slovakia, 5-6 December, 2018

Excellency, Mr. Miroslav Lajčák Chairman of the OSCE

Excellency Secretary General Mr. Thomas Greminger

Honorable representatives,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the outset, I would like to echo all previous speakers in expressing our deepest gratitude to the Slovak OSCE Chairmanship for hosting today’s Ministerial.

Let me take this opportunity to thank Italy for ably chairing the Asian Contact Group this year. We now look forward to work closely with Slovakia as the next Chair of the Asian Partners for Co-operation Group for the year 2020. 

Our gratitude also goes to H.E. Thomas Greminger and the OSCE Secretariat for their continuous engagement and cooperation in strengthening our partnership with the OSCE.

Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year marks the 16th anniversary of our partnership with the OSCE. During these sixteen years we have benefited immensely from knowledge and expertise of the OSCE in different fields.

Mr. Chairman, Excellences;

Just few days ago, our brave Defense and Security forces wiped out Daesh from eastern parts of our country. Around one thousand Deash fighters have surrendered together with their families after scores of their commanders and fighters were killed. As the country on the forefront of fighting international terrorism, we are vehemently determined to wipe out terrorist footprints from our territory.

Taliban continue to be the primary partner for all foreign terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan. There are still strong links and cooperation between Taliban and Al-Qaida, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan as well as nearly 20 other regionally and globally focused groups.

Taliban and these other associated terrorist groups maintain their ability to generate financial revenues through narcotics trade, illicit mineral extraction, taxation, extortion and donations from abroad. Taliban are immensely involved and greatly benefit from the international narcotics trade. This not only provides them with a significant source of income but also brings them into systematic engagement and partnership with the regional and international organized crime groups.

The Government of Afghanistan remains engaged in implementing its national strategy to address the lingering problem of narcotics, in all its aspects. We hope to do so with a greater degree of collaboration with regional and international partners.

Excellences, Distinguished Delegates,

The war in Afghanistan has been going on for decades but with the withdrawal of the bulk of foreign troops in 2014, the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces have been bearing the brunt of fighting insurgency and terrorism in the country. We are of the view that the war in Afghanistan should end through political settlement.

I am pleased to announce that the Afghan government has prepared a 7 steps Peace Plan. We have clearly asserted that regional and international support is vital for the success of the Afghan-led peace process. I would like to take this opportunity to express a word of thanks to all partners, inside and outside our region, who are supporting our peace efforts.

Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Regional co-operation remains key in addressing regional challenges and threats. The Afghan-led initiatives such as the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process and RECCA Process have also tremendously contributed towards greater economic cooperation, building mutual trust, increasing regional connectivity and shared prosperity. In this regard we look forward to the next Heart of Asia- Istanbul Process Ministerial Meeting which is going to be held next week in Istanbul.

Mr. Chairman; Ladies and Gentlemen,

Afghanistan is committed to develop and strengthen a long-term cooperation with the OSCE. Afghanistan-related projects have benefitted immensely from the OSCE field presences in Central Asia..

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, we commend the progress achieved so far by the Asian Partners for Co-operation group in the OSCE and we welcome the proposed Ministerial Declaration on Co-operation with the Asian Partners particularly the references made on Afghanistan in paragraph 5, and look forward to its adoption shortly.

Last but not least, I would like to welcome Albania as the next Chair of the OSCE and look forward to working closely with them as we move forward.

Thank You

Statement by Idrees Zaman Deputy Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at The Informal Meeting of CICA Foreign Ministers

 

Mr. Chairman,

Distinguished Foreign Ministers,  

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Morning!

It is a great pleasure to address this Meeting of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) here in New York.

Let me first express my gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan for its outstanding efforts and leadership in chairing CICA over the past two years. I would also like to congratulate Tajikistan on the successful convening of the 5th CICA Summit in Dushanbe in June We also warmly welcome the Republic of Kazakhstan’s intention to assume the chairmanship of this forum for the period 2020 to 2022.

Excellencies,

Regional cooperation is key for economic development, peace and prosperity in our region. Our success in this area depends exclusively on our continued collective efforts to a comprehensive understanding between our nations.

Since its establishment, CICA has made great efforts and achievements in building trust among its Member States. Nevertheless, there is much more potential for this forum to contribute further in the areas of peace, security and prosperity in the region and beyond. Afghanistan, as a Member State, supports such efforts and will continue to accompany all steps taken towards the strengthening of this platform.

Mr. Chairman,

The existing global threats require close collaboration and cooperation amongst nations across the world. The security threats posed by international terrorist activities are one of the main challenges of our region, with negative impacts on regional development and economic cooperation. Addressing these challenges requires greater and more sincere efforts by all of us.

A particularly important and urgent area where we need to work more effectively is counter-terrorism. We must deny safe havens to terrorists and dismantle and target their operational capabilities. In this regard, it is essential to strengthening regional and international cooperation, since no single state can tackle the threat of transnational terrorism alone, especially with the rise of regional terrorist groups such as ISIS/Daesh.

Mr. Chairman,

The Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process is an important initiative towards strengthening regional cooperation. The process has been an addition to this forum - providing further grounds in building regional trust and bringing synergy to the region. Afghanistan has been placed at the heart of this process and we have been active in highlighting CICA as one of the most important regional platforms to make the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process a success. Let me note that one of the three mandates of the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process is to cooperate and to complement the work and efforts of other regional processes and organizations such this one. In doing so, we will continue to work closely with CICA in the implementation of the Confidence Building Measures set by Heart of Asia, and in political consultations on the framework of that Process

In closing, Mr. Chairman, please allow me to once again reiterate Afghanistan’s full support and commitment to this Conference, its guiding principles and the need to achieving its important goals and objective of securing a peaceful and stable Asia for all its inhabitants.

Thank you!

Joint Statement of the 3rd China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue

ISLAMABAD – Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Salahuddin Rabbani, and State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi held the 3rd Session of China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue in Islamabad on 07 September 2019.

The three sides noted with satisfaction the progress made under the trilateral cooperation since the 2nd Dialogue held in Kabul, on 18 December 2018. The three Foreign Ministers reiterated their resolve to further deepen various strands of trilateral cooperation. They agreed to continue their joint efforts for building political mutual trust and supporting reconciliation, regional peace and stability, development cooperation and connectivity, security cooperation and counter-terrorism as key areas of the trilateral cooperation.

The three sides condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Kabul, Konduz, Baghlan and Farah, which have taken many innocent civilian lives including women and children.

China, Afghanistan and Pakistan, while closely following recent developments in the regional situation, reiterated their support for a politically negotiated settlement of the conflict in Afghanistan. In this regard, they took note of the talks between the U.S. and the Taliban. They expressed hope that intra-Afghan negotiations including direct negotiations between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban begin soon and lead to full cessation of violence bringing lasting peace for the people of Afghanistan. They particularly underlined the need for an inclusive, Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process leading to a comprehensive agreement for durable peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Based on respect for the will of the Afghan people, while appreciating the efforts made by the Government of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan expressed their continued support for Afghanistan’s peace and reconciliation process as well as for the efforts towards reconstruction and economic development in the country.

The three sides reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthening their relations, exploring new ways of deepening cooperation, including advancing connectivity under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) and other regional economic initiatives.

The three sides agreed to explore ‘China-Afghanistan-Pakistan plus’ cooperation, as well as working towards promoting trade and connectivity projects between Afghanistan and Pakistan, such as Kabul-Peshawar Motorway.

The three sides welcomed the progress made on implementation of projects agreed under the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Practical Cooperation Dialogue (CAPPCD). They agreed to continue cooperation in the fields of economic development, capacity building, improving livelihood and people-to-people exchanges.

China expressed its readiness to support construction of refrigeration storages, clinic centers, drinking water supply schemes and immigration reception centers at crossing points between Afghanistan and Pakistan to facilitate the movement of people and trade activities among the two countries. The three sides welcomed the plans to hold a trilateral friendly cricket tournament among junior cricket teams of the three countries in Beijing in October 2019. They also agreed to arrange a capacity building workshop of young diplomats from the three countries under the Junior Diplomats Exchange Program to be held in Pakistan in October 2019.

The three Foreign Ministers agreed to organize an Archaeologists’ Exchange Program, explore cooperation among the Red Crescent Societies of the three countries, besides regularly undertaking exchange projects in the areas of media, think-tanks, sports, joint training etc.

China, Afghanistan and Pakistan reiterated their strong resolve to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and without any distinction. They reaffirmed commitment of not letting any terrorist organization, element or individual use their soils against any country. They also decided to work towards effectively implementing the trilateral MoU on Cooperation in Counter-terrorism, signed at the 2nd round of Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue held in Kabul, and agreed on a list of initial projects of enhancing counter-terrorism cooperation in this regard. They recognized the need to continue their joint fight against ETIM and its supporters and facilitators.  The three sides committed to promote measures to counter terrorist’s logistical capabilities including terror-financing, recruitment and training.  

The three sides agreed to take advantage of the trilateral Vice-Ministerial Strategic Dialogue, the Vice-Ministerial Consultation on Counter-Terrorism and Security, and the Director-General Level Practical Cooperation Dialogue to implement the consensus of the 3rd Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue.

The Foreign Ministers of China and Afghanistan thanked Pakistan for the successful organization of the 3rd round of China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue and for its warm hospitality. The three countries decided to hold the next round of Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue in Beijing in 2020. 

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