Ludin sees no success without Pakistan's support
WASHINGTON (PAN): Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin on Monday told a United Nations Security Council meeting that Afghanistan could not succeed in overcoming armed opposition groups without support from Pakistan and other regional countries.
Ludin appealed for international help to boost talks with the rebels, asserting the security transition was truly the manifestation of his country’s determination to succeed.
“Through the peace process, we will continue to reach out to the armed opposition, and reconcile with those willing to renounce violence, break ties with terrorist organisations, and live in peace under the Constitution,” Ludin told the council.
“We believe the process may benefit from the establishment of an office, within or outside Afghanistan, whereby formal talks between relevant Afghan authorities and representatives of armed opposition, including the Taliban, could be facilitated,” he said.
The Taliban recently opened an office in Qatar, which western diplomats said could help moves toward reconciliation talks.
“Furthermore, we will continue to rely on support from regional countries, in particular the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, without whose support, our peace efforts will not bear the desired results,” Ludin said.
The role of the region surrounding Afghanistan remains central to the peaceful and prosperous future of Afghans, he said, adding that the threats they share are common, including the menaces of terrorism, narcotics and so on, will not be defeated, nor will peace in Afghanistan ever be achieved, in the absence of constructive, result-oriented cooperation at the regional level.
Ludin reassured the Security Council that the Afghan Government remained committed to the Afghan-led peace effort aimed at reconciling members of the armed opposition and bringing them to peaceful lives in the society.
“You are aware that our peace efforts have, in recent months, faced a number of setbacks, notably the tragic assassination of Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani, former president and head of the High Peace Council. Nonetheless, at the consultative Loya Jirga last month in Kabul, the Afghan people unanimously reaffirmed the peace process, giving it a renewed impetus,” he said.
If the Bonn conference was the demonstration of a consensus at the international level, the consultative Loya Jirga organized on 16 to 19 November in Kabul was its mirror image within Afghanistan, reflecting the unanimity among the Afghan people for partnership and engagement with the international community, he said.
The Minister said Afghanistan is working with the United States and with other countries on strategic partnerships. “In this context, we have proudly finalized a strategic partnership agreement with our old, historic friend, the Republic of India, and are in the process of negotiating similar agreements with our other friends and partners, based on the principles of mutual respect and the fundamental equality of sovereign nations,” Ludin said.
“These partnerships will be the building blocks of Afghanistan’s future relations with the international community. They cannot, and will not, represent a threat to any other country in the region or beyond,” he said.
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