‘Afghanistan’s Regional Cooperation Initiative’ Meeting Held in Kabul

KABUL, Jan. 29 – Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan hosted a conference of special representatives and ambassadors of neighboring and regional countries titled “Afghanistan’s Regional Cooperation Initiative” in Kabul, Afghanistan, afternoon hours today. The meeting was mainly aimed at discussions and talks on establishing a region-centric narrative aimed at developing […]

KABUL, Jan. 29 – Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan hosted a conference of special representatives and ambassadors of neighboring and regional countries titled “Afghanistan’s Regional Cooperation Initiative” in Kabul, Afghanistan, afternoon hours today.

The meeting was mainly aimed at discussions and talks on establishing a region-centric narrative aimed at developing regional cooperation for a positive and constructive engagement between Afghanistan and regional countries.

Minister of Foreign of the IEA, Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi in his opening remarks stated that The cooperation could be focused on exploring region-centric and engagement pathways based on common regional benefits, creating a region-centric narrative for positive & constructive engagement with the Afghanistan government to tackle existing & potential threats in the region.

Mr, Muttaqi added that The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan stands ready to engage and cooperate with the regional countries by working together based on mutual interest and mutual respect. Afghanistan as a country that has experienced insecurity and instability for nearly half a century, in no circumstances wants for any other country in the region to experience insecurity & instability. Regional security remains of grave importance for the Islamic Emirate.

He went on saying that During the governance of the Islamic Emirate, it has certainly been proven that a regional perspective revolving around economic connectivity with the region at its center constitutes one of the fundamental pillars of the Islamic Emirate’s foreign policy. We believe Afghanistan and the region’s economic progress and development share a consistent relation.

This economic dependency requires further enhancement of joint work in the region. It requires that the countries of the region, in coordination and positive and constructive cooperation with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, on one hand, prevent the possibility of emergence of an unfavorable situation in the region, and on the other hand, utilize the regional connectivity opportunities in the post-war phase and increasing region-centric engagements as a main objective. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the region can reduce potential threats and optimize new opportunities by creating an engagement-oriented and constructive narrative in all domains as opposed to an evasive and inconsistent narration.

FM Muttaqi further stated that I would like to take this opportunity to put across to you a clear message: The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan respects others’ interests, choices, government structures, and development models, and in return, expects others to respect Afghanistan’s interests, and gov and development choices and models. After 20 years of fight for freedom and the establishment of the Islamic system, today we take our destiny in our own hands.

Unfortunately, Afghanistan’s distant and proximate history has proved that the imposed imported models have not been effective for Afghanistan. During past nearly half a century of wars and instability in Afghanistan, it was seen that the imported plans for Afghanistan did not heal the pain of the Afghan people.

Minister Muttaqi highlighted that whether it was models offered by countries or international organizations…or the plans by special envoys…the alien prescriptions presented under any name and address has had reverse result. Moreover, unfortunately the UN plans conveyed during the tenures of its various envoys also has led to nothing but war, instability, and occupation of Afghanistan.

Therefore, considering the historic lessons, previous experiences should not be repeated. Today, following the at least two decades of struggle and sacrifices of the Afghan people, Afghanistan is a sovereign, free, and safe country that has a government, representing Afghanistan and can work on issues of interest with the region and the world. Afghanistan as country that has gone through long imposed conflicts, and has achieved peace, security, and stability – does not need another UN special representative and/or new mission with UNAMA already on the ground – but this government stands ready and has the capacity to conduct talks on common and concerning issues with different regional and international sides.

Seizing this opportunity, I request all gathered here to portray ground realities of today’s Afghanistan in the upcoming Doha meeting to the distant sides, so that they can enter into constructive engagement and cooperation with a realistic, sensible, and acceptable approach for Afghanistan. It is noteworthy that Afghanistan does not seek confrontation and controversy with any side…..rather always stresses positive engagement. Therefore, our choices shall be respected. Instead of proposing governance models and pointing fingers at the System, it is better to engage on mutual interests.

Muttaqi emphasized that following nearly half a century of aggressions, interventions, chaos, and instability – it is good to finally give chance to an indigenous solution to the problems.

Afghanistan has been able to organize its governance structure, organize the triple security forces, neutralize national and regional threats by antagonist groups, ban the poppy cultivation, mobilize the countries economic engine, kick off major development projects, and take pragmatic steps toward regional trade and transit prosperity.

Foreign Minister expressed that I would like to make this clear; Afghanistan too has problems like any other country. A country that has been the target of foreign invasions and interventions and internal wars for nearly half a century, it is not possible to resolve all the problems in a short period of time. Nevertheless, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is resolved to find solution for the problems that mostly inherited from the past.

Grabbing this opportunity and initiative, also through the remaining regional mechanisms such as Afghanistan’s neighboring countries ministerial meeting or the Moscow format, we hope to succeed in reaching a regional consensus that preserves all actor’s interests. Within the framework of such regional consensus, we can pave the way for finding incentive mechanisms to reach thematic agreements that serves mutual interest.

China’s Special Representative to Afghanistan expressed at the meeting “Afghanistan’s Regional Cooperation Initiative” China acknowledges and upholds the sovereignty of Afghanistan, recognizing that it is the Afghan people themselves who have the authority to manage their political, economic, and social affairs. China maintains a policy of non-interference in the internal matters of Afghanistan.

The Russian Special Representative to Afghanistan stated that it is imperative that all penalties imposed on Afghans and Afghanistan be brought to attention and addressed, as it is their inherent right. Respecting this right is a matter of conscience and added that we urge USA to unfreeze Afghanistan’s foreign assets as it is the right of the people of Afghanistan and must unfreeze it with out any condition.

The Indian Representative at “Afghanistan’s Regional Cooperation Initiative” said that India actively engages in international and regional initiatives concerning Afghanistan, demonstrating its support for all endeavors aimed at promoting stability and development in Afghanistan.

The Indonesian Representative stated that recognizing the significance of regional cooperation as foundation for international collaboration, we believe that progress is only attainable through mutual support. It is our earnest request to make IEA active member of the international community.

The Charge d’Affairs of Pakistan in Afghanistan emphasized the pivotal role of Afghanistan in regional economic connectivity, highlighting the potential for implementing significant economic projects in an environment of peace and security. Additionally, he called for collaborative efforts to address shared demands and concerns.