KABUL – Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan H.E Salahuddin Rabbani met with ambassadors of the Islamic countries to Kabul during an iftar banquet organized in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs this evening.
This banquet was also attended by Deputies and Head of divisions of Foreign Ministry. Mr. Rabbani welcomed ambassadors of the Islamic countries and expressed hope for the strengthening of unity and solidarity of the Islamic Ummah and the consolidation of peace and prosperity in Muslim societies.
In return, Ambassadors of the Islamic countries expressed their pleasure for the opportunity to meet with Foreign Minister and, while appreciating the banquet hosted by Foreign Ministry, wished overall security, peace, and stability for Afghanistan.
KABUL - Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Salahuddin Rabbani met with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Mr. Filippo Grandi in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs this afternoon.
At the outset, Mr. Rabbani expressed his appreciation for the valuable efforts and roles of UNHCR for the support of refugees around the world, and particularly Afghan refugees. He also emphasized that addressing Afghan refugees’ problems in different countries is the national priority of the Afghan government, and the government is categorically resolved and determined to tackle Afghan refugees’ problem in different corners of the world.
In return, Mr. Grandi reassured of UNHCR commitment for continued support to Afghan refugees’ rights all over the world and the agency’s timely assistance delivery to refugees. He called his trip to Afghanistan on World Refugee Day as hallmark of this agency’s attention to the significance of addressing Afghan refugees’ problems in every corner of the world.
In the meeting, both sides discussed and exchanged views on Afghan refugees’ problems in Iran, Pakistan and European countries, and to find solution to their problems.
ROME – At the invitation of NATO Defense College Commander General Janusz Bojarski, Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai delivered a speech under the title Afghanistan and security challenges of the region to the high ranking authorities and students of NATO Defense College on May 20, 2016.
Expressing his condolence for the victims of terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels and recalling the recent terrorist attack in Kabul, Deputy Foreign Minister mentioned that terrorism is a common enemy and must be fought against honestly and seriously in a joint manner.
Deputy Foreign Minister pointed out important political, security, economic issues, the current situation of Afghanistan, peace efforts of the government and progress made in this area, and the recent achievements of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in various fields.
Deputy Foreign Minister answered the questions asked in relation with the migration crisis, counter narcotics, and security and political issues of Afghanistan.
Joint Statement by Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister and Turkish Deputy Undersecretary for the Middle East and Asia-Pacific on the First Meeting of the Afghanistan-Turkey Bilateral Political Consultations
Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister H.E. Hekmat Khalil Karzai and Turkish Deputy Undersecretary for the Middle East and Asia-Pasific H.E. Űmit Yalçin convened the first meeting of the Afghanistan-Turkey Bilateral Political Consultations on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Political Consultations signed between the Afghan and Turkish Foreign Ministers on 24 December 2015.
Both sides discussed bilateral and regional cooperation and steps to strengthen Afghan-Turkish partnership. Deputy Foreign Minister Karzai and Deputy Undersecretary Yalcin paid tribute to the sacrifices of the Afghan people, the Republic of Turkey and the entire international community in promoting a peaceful, secure, democratic, and prosperous Afghanistan.
The Turkish side strongly condemned the recent horrendous terroristic attack in Kabul. The Afghan side also condemned recent terrorist attacks in Turkey. Recognizing the need to put an end to decades of conflict that resulted in the death of thousands of innocent civilians, the Turkish side expressed its support to a results-based Afghan-owned, Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process.
To help Afghanistan sustain the economic gains of the last 15 years, both sides expressed their wish to accelerate Afghanistan’s economic integration within its region as a means to bolster job creation, economic growth, and regional stability.
The two sides will continue cooperation to accomplish the goals of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process, Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA), and the implementation of Lapis Lazuli Route. The two sides also expressed their willingness to increase the number of cultural exchanges and the people-to-people relations.
Deputy Foreign Minister Karzai and Deputy Undersecretary Yalcin emphasized the importance of the NATO summit in Warsaw on 8-9 July and the Brussels conferences on Afghanistan on 4-5 October 2016. The two sides agreed to continue consultations in mobilizing support from regional actors for Afghanistan’s stability and future development.
Deputy Foreign Ministers Karzai and Deputy Undersecretary Yalcin underscored that cooperation between Afghanistan and Turkey continues to be based on mutual respect and shared interests, historical brotherly relations and affirmed their intent to continue these Bilateral Political Consultations to further strengthen this partnership. To that end, it was agreed that the specific date for convening the Second Meeting of the Afghanistan-Turkey Bilateral Consolations in Ankara will be coordinated through diplomatic channels.
Joint Statement by Afghan Foreign Minister Rabbani and U.S. Secretary of State Kerry on the Third Meeting of the Afghanistan-U.S. Bilateral Commission
On April 9 in Kabul, Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry convened the third meeting of the U.S.-Afghanistan Bilateral Commission to review progress in the bilateral relationship and chart a course for future cooperation. This meeting, called for by the Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, reaffirmed the commitment of both governments to Afghanistan’s future as a strong, stable, democratic, and self-reliant state. The Bilateral Commission highlighted the continuation of the U.S. security presence beyond 2016 to carry out two important missions: training, advising, and assisting the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in coordination with international partners; and cooperating bilaterally on shared efforts to counter terrorism. The Bilateral Commission welcomed the U.S. commitment to provide continued financial support to the ANDSF via NATO’s Afghan National Army Trust Fund and the UN Development Program-managed Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA), and to provide significant levels of development assistance during Afghanistan’s Transformation Decade. The participants looked forward to the NATO Summit in Warsaw in July and the Brussels Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan in October as opportunities to solidify these join with the international community in renewing international security and development assistance pledges, respectively. The Bilateral Commission reaffirmed the reform objectives in the New Development Partnership (NDP) decided in August 2015 and the joint commitments established in the Self-Reliance through Mutual Accountability Framework (SMAF) launched at the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) in Kabul in September 2015. The Commission reiterated the important roles played by civil society including women’s groups in helping to chart a democratic future for Afghanistan and ensuring respect for human rights and the rule of law. Recognizing Progress in the Strategic Partnership The Bilateral Commission discussed cooperation in the areas of defense and security; democracy and governance; and economic and social development. Ahead of the Bilateral Commission meeting, U.S.-Afghan working groups for these three areas met to review progress on the specific objectives set during the March 2015 visit of President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah to Washington and to identify goals for the future. Minister Rabbani and Secretary Kerry welcomed the following specific accomplishments: Defense and Security Secretary Kerry and Minister Rabbani acknowledged the sacrifice and resolve of the ANDSF, U.S., and Coalition forces and called for an end to insecurity and violent attacks that resulted in over 11,000 civilian casualties in Afghanistan in 2015 alone. To weaken and defeat terrorists, while denying them safe haven, both sides reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen the security and stability of Afghanistan. As part of ongoing efforts to strengthen the Afghan security forces, the United States announced that 14 MD-530 attack helicopters and eight A-29 aircraft have been successfully integrated into the Afghan security forces. The addition of 14 more MD-530s before August 2016 will further enhance the operational capabilities of the Afghan Air Force. U.S. and Afghan officials also noted the completion of the semi-annual Program Management Review to validate our long-term security cooperation partnership and to continue efforts to develop an effective, affordable, and sustainable ANDSF. The Afghan security institutions are building capacity in systems and processes to staff, equip, and sustain an ANDSF that is capable and combat-ready. The challenges the ANDSF face are complex. Train, Advise, and Assist efforts continue to be required to develop the necessary capacity to build institutional knowledge and expertise in the areas of budgeting, force generation, personnel management, maintenance, logistics, and procurement. The U.S. participants commended Afghanistan’s participation in the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) and its active cooperation in developing a strategic trade control system and associated border controls that help prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Noting that a negotiated political settlement is the best and surest way to bring peace to Afghanistan, Secretary Kerry and Minster Rabbani welcomed the efforts of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) in creating an environment conducive to bringing the Taliban and its affiliates to the negotiation table with the goal of creating a lasting peace in Afghanistan. Minister Rabbani appreciated the United States’ contribution of $5 million to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for supporting the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP) in 2015, as well as the United States’ commitment to provide further support in 2016 for the implementation of the APRP reforms plan. The United States welcomed Afghanistan’s membership in the 66-nation Global Coalition to Counter ISIL and Afghanistan’s commitment to counter violent extremism and terrorism in partnership with other like-minded countries around the world. The ANDSF, working closely with the United States, has already made significant progress against the “Islamic State Khorasan Province” (ISKP), Daesh’s affiliate in Afghanistan. Democracy and Governance Secretary Kerry commended the Afghan government’s commitment to combat corruption and promote democracy and good governance in Afghanistan. Both sides welcomed progress on electoral reforms and noted the importance of ensuring credible, inclusive, and transparent elections. The Afghan side acknowledged that Parliamentary elections are overdue and should take place as soon as possible once necessary electoral reforms have been implemented. Minister Rabbani emphasized the importance of institutionalizing and enforcing Afghanistan’s constitutional commitment to human rights, including the equal rights of all citizens, with particular attention to women and minorities, and persons with disabilities. He noted the government is revising the penal code, developing child protection legislation, and taking steps to implement the law on Elimination of Violence Against Women. The participants welcomed the Afghan government’s continued commitment to women’s rights, the signing of the Global Call to Action, and the June unveiling of the National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, which will implement UNSCR 1325. The commission also applauded the anti-sexual harassment regulation approved by the Council of Ministers and signed by President Ghani in September, as well as efforts to remove barriers to women’s economic empowerment and participation. The United States is the largest single contributor of humanitarian aid to Afghans displaced within Afghanistan and across the region, providing nearly $213 million in fiscal years 2015 and 2016 to date. A key priority for the U.S. and Afghan governments is facilitating the integration of Afghan returnees into development programs. The participants acknowledged that drug production and trafficking is driven by global demand for narcotics, which transnational organized criminal networks produce in permissive environments like that of Afghanistan, undermining governance, security, and public health throughout the world. Hence, both sides emphasized the importance of increased multilateral cooperation in support of Afghanistan’s efforts to address the global challenge of drug production and trafficking, under the provisions of the UN Security Council Resolutions 1817 (2008) and 2195 (2014). Both sides highlighted the recently released Afghan National Drug Action Plan, which offers a balanced, comprehensive, coordinated, and sustainable approach to combatting illegal drug production, trade, and use through 2019. The participants welcomed the ranking of Afghanistan by the World Press Freedom Index 2015 as having the freest media in the region, and noted important progress on the protection of journalists and access to information. In January, President Ghani instructed the Attorney General’s office to re-investigate unsolved cases of murdered journalists and instructed key ministries to develop legislation to better regulate the classification of and access to government information. The Afghan government also created the Mass Media Commission, to support freedom of speech and rights of journalists. Economic and Social Development Secretary Kerry and Minister Rabbani underscored the fundamental importance of economic and social development to future stability and security in Afghanistan. Since the March 2015 visit of President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah to Washington, the United States and Afghanistan have collaborated on a private sector driven by economic development agenda. Our New Development Partnership was established to incentivize reforms and provide up to $800 million in funding to the Afghan government via a World Bank-administered trust fund. The Afghan government achieved key benchmarks and received the $180 million of the total $200 million available in 2015. The Afghan government demonstrated its commitment to fiscal and financial sector reforms through the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Staff Monitored Program (SMP), which concluded in March, and development of the Public Financial Management Roadmap II and its implementation plan. Afghanistan also demonstrated its commitment to self-reliance by achieving record revenue collections in 2015, facilitated in part by the introduction of electronic payments for customs in Kabul. These gains can be expanded through additional improvements in tax compliance and an economic expansion. The commission participants also praised the Afghan government for substantially increasing mobile payments of government salaries. Technical advisors from the U.S. Department of Treasury are working with Afghan counterparts to improve financial management, combat financial crimes, and strengthen banking supervision. Treasury completed a consultation on managing government revenue collection with the Afghan Revenue Department in March 2016 that identified key areas for technical assistance. The U.S. government congratulated Afghanistan on the approval of its application for WTO membership at the Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, on December 17, 2015. The U.S. and Afghan governments stressed the importance of Afghanistan accomplishing its legislative agenda to meet the terms for WTO accession by June 30, 2016. The U.S. and Afghan governments also reviewed the progress of their bilateral Energy Working Group, established as an outcome of President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah’s 2015 visit to Washington. This group, which met twice, once in November and once in January, serves as an effective forum for discussion and cooperation on Afghanistan’s energy priorities, including developing domestic energy production and technical capacity, expanding and securing energy infrastructure, and facilitating greater regional energy integration. The United States also fulfilled its commitment to nearly double the number of Afghan scholars pursuing graduate-level studies in the United States through the Fulbright and Junior Faculty Development exchanges, increasing Afghanistan’s capacity in higher education and key professional sectors. Charting the Way Forward Minister Rabbani and Secretary Kerry discussed avenues for future cooperation to continue to build effective and professional Afghan security forces, to make progress in advancing democracy and improving governance and to build on economic and social development gains. Defense and Security Secretary Kerry and Minister Rabbani emphasized the importance of the continued development of Afghan security forces that are able to defend the territorial integrity of Afghanistan, provide security for the Afghan populace and operate consistently with Afghanistan’s international human rights obligations and commitments. The United States welcomed Afghan commitments to continue combatting gross violations of human rights and to prevent abusive practices.-- To help counter the continuing threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the United States and Afghanistan decided to develop a strategy to build upon existing IED exploitation efforts; consider ways to improve information-sharing related to exploitation of IED components; and conduct an assessment of the current public awareness program and expand it as appropriate. The planned resumption of the Security Consultative Forum in 2016 with the U.S. Secretary of Defense and Afghan Ministers of Defense and Interior will further these strategic goals and serve as the security component of the Bilateral Commission framework, reaffirming the U.S. and Afghan commitment to a mutually supportive defense relationship. Democracy and Governance The commission participants concurred that over the coming months, the United States will support Afghan efforts to advance electoral reforms. They also concluded that strengthening sub-national governance, combatting corruption, and ensuring effective delivery of services to the population were crucial to peace and stability. The Afghan government noted that its efforts to improve human rights will include implementation of the Afghan government’s plan to eliminate torture and a commitment to safeguard freedom of the press, including combating violence against journalists. Rule of law reforms will include a focus on completing and implementing the ongoing penal code revision, as well as continued cooperation to advance gains achieved through counter-narcotics initiatives. Economic and Social Development The United States and Afghanistan will continue to focus on policies that support trade and revenue generation, strengthen the Afghan economy, nurture robust private sector development, promote integration in regional markets, and develop domestic energy production, all of which will lessen Afghan reliance on donor assistance. The two governments noted that the New Development Partnership would continue, and achievement of reform benchmarks could result in additional funding for Afghanistan. The U.S. side welcomed continuing discussions on Afghanistan’s progress in meeting SMAF goals, establishing a new IMF program, improving its business and investment climate, and fostering conditions for long-term economic growth and fiscal sustainability, including the aggressive scale up of mobile salary payments and further roll-out of e-payments for customs. The United States and Afghanistan remain committed to the implementation of the CASA-1000 project and other regional energy projects which expand regional cooperation in energy markets and promote economic growth in Afghanistan and in neighboring countries. Both governments acknowledged the interdependency between economic growth, health, agriculture, and education and plan to collaborate in all these areas. The two governments reaffirmed their support for increased access to quality education throughout the country at all levels, with an emphasis on quality higher education, technical and vocational training, and continued expansion of educational access, including community-based learning. They also recognized the importance of Afghanistan preserving its rich cultural heritage, emphasizing that the country’s economic development must include protecting cultural heritage sites of significant national and international historical value. Secretary Kerry welcomed the recent initiative by the Afghan government to launch a “Jobs for Peace Program,” which intends to provide short- to medium-term employment opportunities for Afghanistan’s youthful population. Conclusion Minister Rabbani and Secretary Kerry reaffirmed their resolve to advance the Afghan people’s desire for a stable, secure, and sovereign Afghanistan, governed on the basis of the Afghan Constitution, including respect for human rights, the rule of law, and democratic values. They underscored that cooperation between Afghanistan and the United States continues to be based on mutual respect and shared interests, and affirmed their intent to continue these high-level bilateral consultations to further strengthen our partnership on the basis of the Strategic Partnership Agreement. To that end, they agreed to announce the specific date for convening the Fourth Meeting of the Afghanistan-U.S. Bilateral Commission in Washington-DC as soon as possible, while the three Working Groups should regularly meet throughout the year to ensure consistent cooperation and coordinatio
In line with the International Standards, discussions on establishment of installations in Torkham were underway between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and a series of accords had been reached in this regard. However, yesterday evening the Pakistani side, unlike the mentioned accords, embarked to establish installations in Torkham, and Pakistani border soldiers opened fire on Afghan security and defense forces. The Afghan security and defense forces retaliated to safeguard the territorial integrity and defend the country and its people. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan considers this tension as unpleasant. The Afghan Government once again emphasizes that its armed forces are always ready to defend their country and people and to react against any kind of threats. Afghanistan adheres to its previous accords with Pakistan and emphasizes peaceful methods and expects from Pakistani side to tackle this problem through diplomatic channels. #
Joint Press Release on the meeting between Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani and Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz
Today, a meeting was held between Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani and Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Tashkent. Afghan National Security Adviser Mohammad Haneef Atmar was also present.
Building upon the ideas generated in the meeting between Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister and Foreign Secretary of Pakistan in Islamabad on 20 June 2016, they agreed to constitute a high level bilateral mechanism for consultation and coordination on various important issues relating to bilateral relations and cooperation, including security, movement of people and vehicles between the two countries and other relevant issues.
The proposed mechanism will be co-chaired by Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani and Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and with the participation of the National Security Advisers of the two countries. It will also have a joint technical working group to deal with the concerns of both countries.
The main purpose of this Mechanism would be not only to address and resolve issues of concern to both sides through amicable means but also to prevent the recurrence of violent incidents like the ones witnessed recently in Torkham.
The two sides also took this opportunity to review other aspects of bilateral relations. They reaffirmed respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and adherence to the principle of non-interference into each other’s internal affairs.
Foreign Minister Rabbani and Adviser Aziz reiterated the mutual desire for strengthening bilateral relations for promoting peace, stability, counter terrorism and economic progress of both the countries. Towards this end, it was agreed to enhance mutual engagement in diverse areas to deepen cooperation.
The two sides specifically expressed their firm commitment to continue serious efforts towards eliminating the scourge of terrorism which poses a grave threat to the peace and security of the two countries, and the region. In this regard, they emphasized the need for close cooperation and coordination between the two countries at all levels.
While discussing bilateral relations, the two sides stressed the need for continuing joint efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan through timely and concrete actions resulting in tangible outcomes, including in the framework of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group process.
Tashkent, 24 June 2016
Minister of Foreign Affairs Meets Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Afghanistan
Kabul- Minister of Foreign Affairs, Salahuddin Rabbani, met with Mr.Tadamichi Yamamoto, Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Afghanistan, here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs this morning.
At the beginning, Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Afghanistan thanked the opportunity to meet Minister of Foreign Affairs, and expressed that UNAMA supports Afghanistan’s endeavors to expand regional cooperation and stands ready and prepared to cooperate Afghanistan especially in regional economic connectivity.
Subsequently, the Foreign Minister thanked UNAMA Office for its prior cooperation and expressing preparedness for its cooperation with the attempts of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in expanding regional economic cooperation especially regional economic connectivity and security cooperation, and discussed the accomplishments of Afghan Government in this sphere, especially CASA-1000 and TAPI Projects which had considerable progress recently.
KABUL – Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani met with a delegation from the Kingdom of Norway led by Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Tore Hattrem and Norwegian Deputy Justice and Public Security Minister Mr. Jøran Kallmyr at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
At the outset, Foreign Minister thanked Norway for its cooperation with Afghanistan and talked about the country’s political and security situation and peace efforts of the Afghan Government.
Foreign Minister mentioned the problems faced by Afghan refugees in Europe and hoped that the Kingdom of Norway would deal more generously with Afghans as people whose original places of living are unsafe.
Later on, the Norwegian Delegation assured Foreign Minister of the continuation of their cooperation in development areas, human rights, women’s rights, and the peace process under the leadership of the Afghan Government and said that given the recent economic problems due to new immigrants coming from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan and other countries of the world, the competent authorities of the Kingdom of Norway had presented a new plan to that country’s parliament. Having been reviewed comprehensively, some strict changes are going to be placed in the immigration laws of the country.
In conclusion, Foreign Minister wanted the Kingdome of Norway to, before making any kind of decision in this regard, consider the memorandum of understanding signed in this area between Afghanistan and Norway.
Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzay, while leading the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s Delegation, participated at the South Asian 9th Conference. This conference was held by the Strategic Studies International Institute and the Near East and South Asia Foundation.
During his speech Deputy Foreign Minister talked about Afghanistan’s struggle against terrorism, Afghanistan’s practical steps towards cooperation with the countries of the region and the world, and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s efforts in this regard.
This conference, under the title Afghanistan, Regional Peace and Stability, was held for the purpose of exchanging views amongst the participating countries in order to find solutions and prevent security threats in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the region. This conference was attended by the high officials from Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States, Britain, France, and China.