March 1, 2019 – Abu Dhabi
بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
Honorable Foreign Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan,
Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
السلام علیکم ورحمت الله و برکاته
At the outset, allow me to thank the Government of the United Arab Emirates for hosting the 46th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and to extend, on behalf of my delegation, our sincere gratitude for your gracious hospitality.
Let me congratulate you on your deserved election as the Chair of this Session of the Council.
We assure you of our delegation’s full support and cooperation and look forward to a fruitful conference outcome.
Afghanistan also appreciates the leadership of our esteemed brother, His Excellency, Abdul Hassan Mahmood Ali, the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, for his able leadership during last year’s Session.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We meet again, at a time of great turbulence in the Islamic World.
Daunting challenges continue to undermine peace, stability, and security of our peoples.
We must initiate and effectively utilize mechanisms, through which collective and decisive action can be taken to achieve progress on various fronts, especially when it comes to combating terrorism and preventing radicalization.
In this light, we laud the establishment of the OIC Contact Group on Peace and Conflict Resolution and the adoption of the Resolution on Strengthening the Mediation Capacity of the OIC.
The menace of terrorism remains a serious threat to international peace and security.
This continues to bring untold misery and suffering to all people and communities around the world, especially to our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters, who remain the overwhelming majority of victims of terrorist attacks.
This warrants us to be even more vigilant, individually and as a collective group, to rid our societies of the evil menace.
Our comprehensive response should entail due focus on the operational, ideological, social, and other factors of the threat.
In that light, we need to consider new ways to amplify the role of Islamic Ulema in their condemnation of terrorism as a contradiction to the core tenets and values of Islam.
Last year, once again, Afghanistan recorded the highest number of deaths resulting from terrorism.
Various terrorist groups, supported and abetted in the region, have continued their ill-fated attempt to reverse our path to stability and prosperity – attacking civilians, schools, medical facilities, religious sites, among other targets.
Yet, no amount of barbarity can weaken our people’s resolve in their struggle against terrorism.
This has been demonstrated by our brave National Defense and Security Forces who have been fighting terrorist groups in different parts of the country with firm determination.
Our fundamental national imperative remains the achievement of a peaceful settlement to the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan.
As of late, we have taken new measures to strengthen national consensus on the peace agenda.
In the coming weeks, a National Consultative Jirga on Peace will convene in Kabul with the participation of representatives from across the country.
That gathering will aim to synergize regional and international support for our peace efforts, in accordance with the principle of Afghan ownership and leadership of the peace process.
Moreover, efforts are underway way to form a broad-based and inclusive negotiating team for direct talks with the Taliban.
Here again, we wish to reassert the importance of regional and international efforts in bringing peace and stability and helping to preserve the democratic achievements in the framework of our constitution.
In this regard, let me take the opportunity to thank the Governments of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Uzbekistan for their important initiatives to support our peace efforts.
We also appreciate the OIC Secretary General for his dedicated support to the peace process in Afghanistan, and invite him to remain proactively engaged in support of our efforts, as we work towards achieving sustainable peace.
In this vein, we also invite the Secretary General to speed up the implementation of a decision on building an International Islamic University in Afghanistan, which was supported at the 12th Islamic Summit Conference.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is our religious and moral responsibility to follow situations and developments relating to our Ummah.
Recent developments in some OIC Member States offer a grim picture of the situation facing millions of our brothers and sisters in the Islamic World.
We need to develop and implement proactive policies on numerous factors ailing our societies.
We remain concerned on the situation of the Palestinian people and their continuous struggle for self-determination, and reaffirm our support for their right to an independent and sovereign country.
The occupying force has conducted, in flagrant violation of international law, its unjust and illegal policies against the people of Palestine including women and children.
In line with strong calls from the Ummah and the rest of the international community, efforts must be taken in support of the Palestinians’ right to establish their independent state within the 1967 borders, with East Al-Quds Al Sharif as its capital.
Based on our long-standing policy of brotherhood, support and solidarity with our Palestinian brothers and sisters, Afghanistan will make a contribution of one million US dollars in aid to the United Nations Relief Agency for Palestinian Refugees.
We have also been monitoring the plight of the Rohingya in Myanmar where Rohingya Muslims have been tragically killed as part of a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing.
We need to do more in the face of these atrocities and respond to their immediate needs with decisive action.
In this regard, the provision of renewed humanitarian assistance for Rohingya Muslims by the Government of Bangladesh and other OIC member states is a welcome development, which needs to be sustained.
Expressing serious concern over the latest flare up of tensions between Pakistan and India, we call on both neighboring countries for restraint and de-escalation of the current tension.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me conclude by drawing our collective attention of the OIC, in working together in a spirit of unity, cooperation, and brotherhood to pursue and adopt durable solutions to the troubles facing our Ummah – whether in the context of the imposed conflict in Afghanistan as well as the situations in Palestine, Syria, Yemen, Myanmar and elsewhere around the world.
Afghanistan stands ready to do its part in advancing the goals of our Organization and we remain grateful to all OIC member-states for their continued support to the stabilization and development of my country.