US-Afghan ties extend beyond geopolitical interest: Blinken
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): At an exhibition of arts and artifacts attracting a large number of people, a top Obama administration official on Monday said the event showed the US-Afghan relationship extended well beyond the geo-political interest.
“This exhibit embodies the shared aspirations of our people and common desire to connect to our past to rejoice in the wonders of life with expressions of arts and culture and in so doing to infuse the present with greater meaning and greater purpose,” said the Deputy Secretary of StateTony Blinken.
In remarks at the reception for the “Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan” at the prestigious Smithsonian Freer and Sackler Galleries, Blinken said the artists were reviving the traditional techniques lost in the decades of conflict and restoring Afghanistan to its rightful place in the world of arts, music and craftsmanship.
“They are transforming the world’s perception of Afghanistan being able to see a country no longer defined by the legacy of war, but rather by the possibilities of peace and the extraordinary horizons of creativity, of craftsmanship of arts of culture,” the diplomat remarked.
However, he insisted the US and the international community could take things for granted. After the Taliban’s destruction of the irreplaceable Buddha of Bamyan, fragility of the Afghan heritage and the heritage of the so many parts of the world continued to demand utmost attention, Blinken added.
The Turquoise Mountain exhibitionwas first announced during the March 2015 visit of President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Dr Abdullah. Opened to the public on March 5, it will run through January 2017.
The exhibition portrays the transformation of the Old City district of MuradKhani in Kabul, from ruins to a thriving centre for the revival of Afghan arts and culture.
Afghan Ambassador Hamdullah Mohib said it was a proud moment for him that thousands of Americans came and saw what their country had invested in. “Afghanistan is making progress. This is the progress.”
Addressing the select audience, Minister of Information and Culture Abdul Bari Jahan said the exhibition shows the other face of Afghanistan, which is brotherly and peaceful. “Our partnership with the Turquoise Mountain is a success story. I believe in the language of exhibition. It is the best way to show the beauty of Afghanistan.”
US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Olson, American Ambassador to AfghanistanP Michael McKinleywere also present on the occasion.
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