Region offers huge economic opportunities: CEO
KABUL (Pajhwok): Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah in his bilateral meetings with Indian, Chinese and Russian leaders has stressed the need for exploiting regional economic opportunities and developing a joint strategy to deal with security threats.
The CEO held a meeting with India State Minister for Foreign Affairs Vijay Kumar Singh on Monday before the launch of the 14th Heads of Government Council meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in China.
Abdullah thanked the Indian minister for his country’s support with Afghanistan in the civil and military areas, a statement from the CEO office said on Tuesday.
India is expected to give four fighter helicopters to Afghanistan to help fight against terrorists.
Abdullah told the Indian minister that the emergence of Islamic State (IS) was another threat the region faced and there was a need for a common strategy to fight militants groups.
Despite the existence of security challenges, the region offered enormous economic opportunities, the CEO said, adding that the construction of the Chabahar port and Zaranj-Dilaram Road would help accelerate economic activities in the region.
The Indian state minister termed Afghanistan a reliable and long-term partner and pledged to expand ties with Kabul.
According to Vijay Kumar, the expansion of military and economic ties between Kabul and New Delhi was in the best interest of both countries and was necessary to benefit from the exiting economic opportunities in the region in an effective way.
The CEO also held a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and discussed with him issues of mutual interest.
Both the leaders agreed to expand economic ties and adopt a common strategy to combat security threats, the statement said.
Prime ministers from the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan and Pakistan attended the summit, while Chinese Premier Li Keqiang chaired the meeting.
The prime minister of Belarus, the vice premier of Mongolia, the minister of state for foreign affairs of India and the minister from Iran attended the SCO meeting as representatives of SCO observers countries.
In a bilateral meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he had proposed the mechanism of a steering committee between Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States and China to supervise process of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and coordinate efforts in this regard.
"We are in the process of evolving terms of reference and a concept paper of the proposed Committee. We will keep close co-ordination with China in that regard and in deliberations of the Committee," he said.
The SCO is a security bloc led by China and Russia. The bloc was originally formed to fight threats posed by radical Islam and drug trafficking from neighbouring Afghanistan.
The SCO groups China, Russia, Pakistan, India and the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, while Iran, Afghanistan and Mongolia are observers.
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