Karzai seeks new cooperation paradigm
"As a framework for long-term partnership, we will call for a new paradigm of cooperation between Afghanistan and our partners," President Hamid Karzai said in his address to the UN General Assembly.
The speech was read out in absentia by his Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul, Karzai said he had to cut short his visit and return to Kabul in the aftermath of the assassination of High Peace Council chairman Burhanuddin Rabbani.
"I had to return to Kabul after the tragic news of the martyrdom of the former president. He was assassinated in a cowardly terrorist plot by the enemies of peace in our country," the president said.
Karzai said the strategic partnership that Kabul was currently negotiating with the United States and other partners, including the European Union, would be a model for the kind of enduring partnership Afghanistan wished to have with the international community.
"These partnerships will help guarantee Afghanistan's security and stability, as well as assist our future economic development. I emphasise that neither our Strategic Partnership with the US nor any other partnerships we will forge in the future shall be a threat to our neighbours or any other country," he explained.
In the context of partnerships, the principle of Afghan sovereignty and the centrality of the Afghan state must be given due credence in conformity to the requirements of a sovereign Afghanistan," he stressed.
Karzai also spoke about the reconciliation drive. "Led until now by the late Rabbani, who is tragically no longer among us, through the High Peace Council, and supported by our partners, the peace process is a comprehensive effort, covering reintegration of armed combatants into dignified civilian life, as well as reconciling the leadership of the Taliban."
The reconciliation policy was based on his commitment to making the political process more inclusive and to providing a genuine and acceptable alternative to violence for all Taliban and other militant leaders," Karzai concluded.
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