Rassoul wants terror safe havens dismantledBy Lalit K Jha Sep 28, 2010 - 11:40
WASHINGTON (PAN): The Afghan foreign minister warned the international community on Monday that ending the conflict in Afghanistan would be a mirage as long as safe havens, state and non-state actors provided material and financial support to Al Qaeda and other extremist organisations.
"On many occasions from this podium, the Afghan delegation has drawn the attention of the global community to the reality that terrorism and the ideologies of extremism and radicalism are spawned beyond the borders of Afghanistan," Dr. Zalmai Rassoul.
In his address to the 65th annual session of the UN General Assembly, the minister said terrorists continued to infiltrate Afghanistan with the intent to inflict harm on its people and soldiers of partner countries.
As long as certain state and non-state actors provide Al Qaeda and its affiliated individuals and entities with sanctuary, arms and financing, they would remain formidable and murderous adversaries, he said without naming any country.
Terrorism in the region was a growing threat to world peace and security, noted Rassoul, who explained the audacity and geographic scope of extremist and terrorist groups harbuored in the region continued to expand.
"If our international partners and allies wish to win the global war on terrorism, they must look beyond villages in Afghanistan, and engage in a strategy that will effectively and decisively dismantle organisations and networks that continue - with immunity - to support terrorist and radical militants," he continued.
While Afghanistan and its international partners had realised substantial achievements over the past eight years, they had also made mistakes, the minister acknowledged. "Many challenges and obstacles remain in ensuring sustainable security for the people of Afghanistan, and to meet their aspirations for a better life and future."
The minister also addressed the annual meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement Coordinating Bureau. "Afghanistan remains a proud and committed member of this movement. NAM member-states comprise the vast majority of the international community, spanning across various continents, cultures and religions," he said.