Ludin stresses regional cooperation
KABUL (PAN): Next month’s international conference in Almaty, part of the Istanbul process aimed to stabilise Afghanistan, would offer a change of resolving regional issues, Deputy Foreign Minister Javed Ludin said on Monday.
He made the remarks at a preparatory meeting in Kabul, where representative from 32 countries and 10 international organisations discussed the “Heart of Asia” Conference to be held in Kazakhstan on April 26.
Foreign ministers of 15 regional countries, representatives of 17 states that support the Istanbul process and officials of 10 world bodies will participate in the conference.
Addressing participants, Ludin acknowledged over the past one decade the international community had extended generous support and cooperation to Afghanistan.
Ludin hoped the Almaty meeting would offer an opportunity to discuss ways of resolving problems such as terrorism, drug commerce and organised crimes.
“We have learnt an important lesson that Afghanistan’s security and prosperity are tied to the security and prosperity of the region,” Ludin said, noting that every country needed to establish cordial relations with its neighbours and the world at large.
UNAMA deputy chief, Nicholas Haysom, told the meeting “I want to reassure that the agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations will remain engaged in all confidence-building measures (CBMs).”
Agreed at a meeting in Turkey in November 2011, the CBMs cover regional cooperation in areas of counter-terrorism, narcotics, disaster management, trade, commerce, regional infrastructure and education.
Representative from Kazakhstan Timur Urazayev said the Istanbul process had presented a good agenda for resolving the region’s problems and building trust among the countries.
He believed the Istanbul Process provided a common platform for many countries with different approaches to political, social and economic development. The meeting in Almaty would contribute to Afghanistan’s role in the region, he added.
Greater cooperation among regional countries in the fight against terrorism, natural disasters and drug commerce will be high on the agenda of the conference. The participants will also confer on expanded regional trade, according to the foreign ministry spokesman.
Nearly 30 delegates from 12 regional countries and a dozen international agencies attended the second conference in Kabul in June last year. The inaugural meeting was held in Istanbul in 2011.
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