Regional states seek continued support for Afghanistan
KABUL (Pajhwok): Participants of an international conference in Kabul on Friday underlined greater regional cooperation for Afghanistan’s stability and sustainable economic development and self-reliant Afghanistan.
The sixth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA-VI) entered a second day with remarks from President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, stressing cooperation in areas of energy, natural resources and trade.
Titled The Silk Road Through Afghanistan, the summit insisted that Afghanistan still needed regional cooperation for its development and security.
Abdul Reza Rahman Fazli, Iran’s interior ministers, hoped RECCA-VI would be a source of blessing for Afghanistan and the region at large. He said Iran and Afghanistan had cultural, religious and historical bonds and Tehran had always stood by the Afghan government and people.
“Iran’s policy has always been supporting peace and stability in Afghanistan. We consider Afghanistan’s stability synonymous with Iranian and regional stability,” he remarked. He said a stable, economically developed and self-reliant Afghanistan was in the interest of all regional countries.
“Rise in violence and extremism, the changing geography of war from the south to the north of Afghanistan and emergence of new radical groups have added to regional concerns,” the Iranian minister noted.
“We have a firm belief that terrorists never differentiate between good and bad and we should come to the conclusion that these group are not only a threat to the region but to humanity as a whole,” he observed.
Connecting Central Asia through Chabahar port in Iran was a dream for his country and the region, Fazli said, adding the long-cherished objective was all set to be translated into a reality.
Sirojiddin Aslov, Tajikistan’s foreign minister, said in his remarks RECCA was a good opportunity for reviewing achievements of previous summits. Socio-economic development would be elusive without security in Afghanistan. He said technical and financial assistance should be delivered to Afghanistan to fight organised crime on its borders.
Aslov said less heed had been paid to the development of transport and energy sector in Afghanistan that was a huge impediment in the way of economic development. Special attention, he said, should also be paid to these sectors which were vital for economic growth.
“We are sure impediments in the way of infrastructure development could be removed in properly planned ways. Tajikistan would support such programmes in Afghanistan,” he promised.
He said even after the complete withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan, the country would still need international cooperation to move forward towards economic development. Tajikistan expressed support for Afghanistan’s peace process.
Mohammad Quli Mohammaduv, finance minister of Turkmenistan, insisted on a political solution to the current problems in Afghanistan, suggesting Turkmenistan’s neutrality should be used for promoting peace process.
Arjun Tappa, secretary general of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), believed Afghanistan could serve a bridge between Central and South Asia. The grouping has launched programmes in this regard.
Sujata Mehta, India’s representative, said: “The Afghan people could not wait for long and therefore our aim is also focused on executing economic projects. We should prioritise our activities so that Afghanistan could benefit from them.”
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.