02 April 2020

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Saturday, June 16, 2012
Kabul (BNA) President Hamid Karzai met on Thursday with Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister of Russia to discuss issues of mutual interest.
During the meeting held in the Presidential Palace, Foreign Minister Lavrov described the Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference as effective for enhancing regional cooperation and congratulated the President on its successful convention and wrap-up.
Lavrov said that his country was interested in expanding its bilateral relations and cooperation with Afghanistan.
Sergey Lavrov briefed the President on Russia’s old and new construction projects in Afghanistan and added that Russia was keen to speed up its ties and cooperation with the Afghan Line Ministries for the work.
Russian Foreign Minister also said that under the bilateral relationship framework, Russia wanted to cooperate and help with further strengthening of Afghan security forces.
President Karzai then termed Afghan-Russian bilateral relations very important for Afghanistan.
The President thanked Russia for its support to Afghanistan’s Observer membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and evaluated his meeting as very important with President Vladimir Putin, on the sideline of the Shanghai summit, for expanding bilateral relations between the two countries.
President Karzai stressed on the need for sincere regional cooperation with the intention of strengthening peace and stability in the country.
The two sides also discussed various issues related to the future of Afghanistan beyond 2014.
 

Saturday, June 16, 2012
Kabul (BNA) President Hamid Karzai held a bilateral meeting on Thursday afternoon with Villy Sovndal, Foreign Minister of Denmark, who congratulated President Karzai on the successful conclusion of the Kabul Ministerial Conference.
He described President Karzai’s remarks in the conference as comprehensive and said Denmark, which currently holds EU’s rotating presidency, will continue to stand by the people of Afghanistan.
President Karzai thanked Minister Sovndal for his participation to the Conference and thanked Denmark for all its assistance over the past years to Afghanistan.
There were also discussions that centered on Afghanistan’s economic development and the recovery of state institutions for a stronger rule of law and democracy in Afghanistan.
 

Saturday, June 16, 2012
Kabul (BNA) President Hamid Karzai met on Thursday with Yamane, Ryuji, Japan’s Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs to discuss issues of mutual interest.
Calling the Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference successful, Vice-Minister Ryuji said that the President’s wise leadership resulted in the success of today's conference which further encouraged the participant countries.
Yamane Ryuji also briefed President Karzai on his country’s preparations for the upcoming Tokyo Conference.
Thanking Ryuji for his participation as Japan’s Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Conference, the President said that Afghanistan was pleased and honored to have had Foreign Ministers and representatives from more than 40 countries, International and regional organizations in the Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference.
Pointing to the Tokyo Conference, President Karzai said that this would not be the first major international conference on Afghanistan that Japan will be hosting. Japan as a friend has made generous contributions to Afghanistan during the past ten years.
The President said that the prestige and special position Japan enjoyed among other countries in the world and the economic plan that the Afghan government had devised for the upcoming Tokyo Conference would lead to its success.
President Karzai said that Afghanistan had received strong support from the world community after signing strategic cooperation documents with a number of countries in the world and its successful participation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s summit in China.
The president said that now it was the responsibility of all Afghans to make efforts more than the past for strengthening state institutions, promoting good governance and eliminating corruption as well as to make capital use of the opportunities available in the country.
Japan’s Vice- Minister of Foreign Affairs also praised the recent decisions and steps taken on the Kabul Bank case by the Afghan government.
 

Saturday, June 16, 2012
Kabul (BNA) President Hamid Karzai received on Thursday William Burns, United States Deputy Secretary of State, who is in Kabul to attend the Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference. He began by congratulating President Karzai on the successful convention of the Ministerial Conference.
President Karzai spoke to the Deputy Secretary about his recent visit to China and Afghanistan’s acquiring of Observer Status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as well as the result of his bilateral talks with the leaders of the region particularly Russia and China, who affirmed their support of Afghanistan’s strategic partnership with the world including the Afghan-US Strategic Partnership Agreement.
President Karzai stressed that now that Afghanistan had secured and laid out the foundations for a stronger and continued relationship with the world, it was time to intensify its efforts to improve governance and fight corruption.
The President said he was going to hold an extraordinary meeting of the joint session of the Parliament in the coming Thursday to discuss and consult his way forward for the next two years for stronger governance and combat on corruption.
Deputy Secretary of State said the US appreciates the recent decisions and steps taken by the government of Afghanistan in addressing the issue of Kabul Bank.

 

Your Excellency President Karzai,
My Esteemed Co-Chair, Your Excellency Foreign Minister Davotuglu,
Excellencies foreign ministers and heads of delegation from the Heart of Asia countries and the supporting countries to the Istanbul Process,
Distinguished delegates, dear guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
At the outset, let me once again extend my personal and the Afghan foreign government’s collective warm welcome and heartfelt thanks to everyone of you for travelling from near and far to attend today’s historic Heart of Asia Conference in Kabul. It is my sincere hope that your stay in Kabul is both fruitful and enjoyable and that you will take home with you a positive outcome for our deliberations here today and some nice memories from your visit.
We are truly privileged to be able to bring together such an august company of leaders in a spirit of friendship, openness and cooperation to discuss the crucial need for sincere, result-oriented cooperation in this critical region, at this critical juncture.
I also wanted to reiterate the gratitude of the Afghan government to the Turkish government and to my brother Foreign Minister Davotuglu personally for Turkey’s leading role in the Istanbul Process and for an exemplary hosting of the Istanbul Conference for Afghanistan: Security and Cooperation in the Heart of Asia of November 2, 2011, the first conference in the Istanbul Process, an effort we regard with hope and a sense of renewed promise for a future of real peace, security, stability and prosperity in this region.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
A quick glance back at the past few months since our gathering in Istanbul makes it abundantly clear that this process has been more successful, more productive and enjoyed much stronger ownership and support by the participating countries than just about anybody expected, especially those outside our region. In our view, the Istanbul Process is one of the most meaningful, the most concrete and the most promising effort at realizing the vision of sincere, result-oriented cooperation among countries of the Heart of Asia region at least over the past one decade!
There are several characteristics to this unprecedented success of the Istanbul Process. I’ll enumerate only some of the more salient of these characteristics that we’ve observed over the past several months of preparations for today’s conference.
First, and as reflected by His Excellency President Karzai a few minutes ago, there is a more intimate, far greater and far clearer understanding of the intertwined nature of both the challenges and problems but also the great potential and opportunities in our region. It is today impossible to compartmentalize our notions of peace and security for our individual countries – to think, for example, that terrorist sanctuaries in one country or terrorist attacks in another country will not affect both the short- and long-term peace, security and stability of the entire region. It is also equally inconceivable to expect that we in Afghanistan will be able to single-handedly tackle the scourge of narcotics because there are key factors and actors beyond our borders that play a central role in the continued existence of this shared menace.
It is also evident that if allowed to unleash, this region’s truly tremendous potential in human and natural resources; trade, transit and investment; services and other fields can not only transform the lives of the peoples of this region for the better but significantly contribute to security and prosperity in the broader world.
Second, the Istanbul Process of far has made clear that if we can muster the will and the commitment, the countries in this region are more than capable of finding workable, consensus-driven solutions for the region’s common challenges and problems.
For the first time in ten years, we have agreed to a set of concrete confidence building measures that will take us from rhetoric to action.
The seven confidence building measures proposed for adoption in this Conference’s final declaration–agreed to through several high-level preparatory meetings among senior officials from the Heart of Asia countries–cover such areas of cooperation as counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics, disaster management, strengthening links among national chambers of commerce, educational and cultural cooperation.
Third, there is strong consensus-driven support from all Heart of Asia countries for our collective decision to follow-up our deliberations and discussions first in Istanbul and now here through regular consultations among our senior officials and at least once a year at the level of foreign ministers.
This in our view is another clear demonstration of our real commitment to making tangible, concrete progress on the confidence building measures we’ve agreed to implement.
Fourth, just as there is strong consensus on the ownership of this process by the participating countries, there is broad and firm support among us for the role of the supporting countries and organizations, represented around this table.
The high-level presence of the diverse group of supporters of the Istanbul Process today is a clear sign of the importance and significance of this effort. The presence of supporters underscores the interconnectedness of our world and how security and stability and development in one region, especially in the Heart of Asia region, directly affects security and development worldwide.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Another key element of the Istanbul Process is creating ever closer linkages, coordination and synergy in the Afghanistan-related efforts of regional organizations. Afghanistan is a member of most of these organizations. We believe each one of these organizations has a critical role to play and we’re very happy to have them on board. In this connection, let me reiterate the Afghan government’s satisfaction with our new status as observer country at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and underline our deep gratitude to all SCO member states for their support and welcome.
The participation of the United Nations has been a key pillar of the Istanbul Process.
We the participating countries are all members of the UN and I believe it’s role gives the process greater legitimacy and effectiveness. In particular, we are grateful for the contributions of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) so far, which have been significant and constructive.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Let me repeat myself one more time: we’re more hopeful and more optimistic about making tangible progress on regional cooperation with this Istanbul Process than any other effort so far over the past ten years. Any step we take towards implementing our shared vision within the Istanbul Process will not only be good for peace, security and stability in Afghanistan; real progress on regional cooperation is essential for peace and security in our region.
We in Afghanistan are also determined to reclaim our rightful place in this region–not as an issue, a topic or a problem. Rather, we want to play the role of a regional convener, connector and mediator in improving confidence and cooperation in the Heart of Asia. We’ve been first in suffering the consequences of a lack of confidence and fragmentation in this region, which has in turn had a direct bearing on peace and security in the region.
So, dear friends, Afghanistan’s sincere and real commitment to the Istanbul Process comes from self-interest that is tied to the interests of the region around us.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
We all realize that patience is a virture in this collective effort, especially in a region grappling with the legacy and present reality of some real challenges and problems.
But we’ll be judged and I think fairly so–by the steady, concrete progress of our work on taking this crucial process forward one step at a time. We will be watched and judged by each other, by those supporting us and others. It is, therefore, our fervent hope that we’ll all maintain the perseverance, patience but also farsightedness in moving this process forward.
I thank you all very much for your attention and wish us all a successful conference!
 

Saturday, June 16, 2012
Kabul (BNA) President Hamid Karzai telephoned French President Francois Hollande to express his condolences over the death of four and injury of five French soldiers in a suicide bombing in the province of Kapisa.
President Karzai told President Hollande that he also took up the issue and expressed his deepest sympathies earlier in a meeting with the visiting French Defense Minister.
President Karzai stressed that he too wishes just like France to finish in the soonest the transition in Kapisa of security responsibilities and informed President Hollande that he has instructed the Ministries of Defense and the Interior to render all possible cooperation in putting into place the French government’s decision to withdraw its troops from the province.
President Karzai once again thanked France for all its assistance and the reconstruction projects it has been undertaking in Afghanistan.
The President described the recent visit of the French President to Afghanistan as important step in further consolidating the bilateral relations.
Pointing out to the strategic cooperation treaty between the two countries, the President said, “the Afghan National Assembly will soon debate the treaty and we are confident that it will be passed as this is in the interest and the favors of the two countries.”
President Hollande thanked President Karzai for the call and for the expression of condolences and reaffirmed his country’s continued commitment and support to Afghanistan.
 

Saturday, June 16, 2012
Kabul (BNA) President Hamid Karzai has been deeply grieved by the terrorist bombing attacks that killed and injured a lot of people in Iraq.

Reports indicate that as a result of several coordinated attacks across four Iraqi cities including Baghdad, over eighty people were killed and more than 200 others were injured.
President Karzai strongly condemns the terrorist attacks and said, “Afghan people feel, better than any other nation in the world, the pain and the grief of the Iraqi people as Afghans have been suffering from the brutal scourge of terrorism for years now.”
The President expresses his deepest sympathies and condolences to the government and people of Iraq and the families of those killed and injured in the attacks.

Saturday, June 16, 2012
Kabul (BNA) President Hamid Karzai met today morning with Yerzhan Kazykhanov, Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan to discuss issues of mutual interest.
Mr. Yerzhan Kazykhanov said that Kazakhstan and Afghanistan have had diplomatic relations for twenty years and added that “we sincerely want to extend our relations with Afghanistan since Afghanistan is a major country in our foreign policy”.
Foreign Minister Kazykhanov gave assurance to the President that “Kazakhstan supports Afghanistan Security Forces” and pledged that his country would provide an assistance of $ 2 millions for the ASNF forces.
President Karzai thanked for Kazakhstan’s support to Afghanistan in a bid to become an Observer Member State in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and added, “the future of this region will depend on development in Afghanistan”.
The President said that Kazakhstan could play “a bigger role in the region” and underlined that under the framework of bilateral cooperation, enhanced engagement between Afghanistan and Kazakhstan is necessary.
President Karzai underscored that countries in the region had to join hands to eliminate radicalism and terrorism in the region.
Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan also expressed his deep sorrow over the recent earthquake in Baghlan province that resulted in casualties and offered his condolences to the President and the people of Afghanistan.
He also congratulated President Karzai on Observer membership of Afghanistan in the SCO.
Moreover, President Hamid Karzai met in a separate meeting today with Prof. Ekmeledddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of OIC.
The two sides stressed on the unity of Islamic countries and described enhanced regional cooperation as the most important element for economic prosperity and a joint fight against terrorism and radicalism in the region.
Prof. Ekmeledddin Ihsanoglu declared OIC’s support to the Afghan peace process and praised the efforts made by the Government of Afghanistan for strengthening peace in the country.
 

Saturday, June 16, 2012
Kabul (BNA) President Hamid Karzai met on Wednesday with William Hague, British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to discuss issues of mutual interest.
During the meeting held in the Presidential Palace, the two sides first discussed the situation in Afghanistan and the region, the peace process and Pakistan's role in this regard.
William Hague said that they had spoken with Pakistani officials on the Pakistan's role in the Afghan peace process and hoped that Afghanistan and Pakistan be able to continue their increased cooperation and talks in this respect.
President Karzai said that there was no other way for the region but to join hands and fight the evil scourge of terrorism and radicalism steadfastly, realistically and honestly.
In a separate meeting, President Hamid Karzai also met with Ms. Fu Ying, Deputy Foreign Minister of China.
President Karzai first thanked Chinese government for their hospitality and warm welcome to the High-level delegation of Afghanistan on his recent trip to China and praised the goodwill and intention of the Chinese government, leading to the success of the President’s visit to that country.
China's Deputy Foreign Minister then thanked President Karzai for the meeting and congratulated him on the membership of Afghanistan as an observer in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
Ms. Fu Ying also said that China closely followed the transition in Afghanistan and added that under the framework of bilateral cooperation, China was ready to provide assistance and support to Afghanistan.
Deputy Foreign Minister Ying added that China was keen to see peace and stability in Afghanistan since peace and stability in Afghanistan would lead to a safe and stable region. In this context, she said that China supported the negotiations between Afghanistan and Pakistan and hoped that the two countries achieve success to this end.
Underscoring enhanced cooperation between countries of the region in the fight against terrorism, the President said that the region had to honestly cooperate in the war on terrorism.
Deputy Foreign Minister of China also said that the Afghan government could spend, in line with its priorities, a grant assistance of 150 million Yuan to be provided by China.
Separately, President Hamid Karzai also met with Torki Soud, Deputy Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia.
The two sides first discussed the situation in Afghanistan and the region and the peace process.
Saudi Foreign Minister then said that peace, stability and security in Afghanistan was important for Saudi Arabia.
Reaffirming his country’s support to the peace process of Afghanistan, he stressed on Pakistan's role in this process and added that peace and stability in Afghanistan would mean peace and stability in Pakistan.
President Karzai thanked Saudi Arabia for its assistance and and support and appreciated the role and consideration of his Majesty Khadim ul-Haramain ul-Sharifain (the Custodian of the two holy mosques), King Abdullah in providing cooperation and assistance to Afghanistan.
 

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Excellencies Ministers,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Asalam Alaikum and Good morning!
Most Welcome to today’s meeting in Kabul. We in Afghanistan are privileged to have your presence here today and I am grateful that you took time out of your very busy schedule to be with us and to support and encourage Afghanistan further.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Last year we had a historic Heart of Asia Conference in Istanbul Turkey, a country for centuries so close to Afghanistan and supportive of us in very particular terms in the past ten years, we are grateful to our brothers in Turkey and for their continued support. The Conference today is the 2nd in this direction.
Afghanistan, ladies and gentlemen, as you all are fully aware, after ten years of having received support from NATO, ISAF countries and from our neighbors in the region, has begun the process of transition to Afghan authority which is today in its 3rd phase and the completion of which will bring at least 75 percent of Afghan population under the cover of protection and services provided by the Afghan government.

Dr Ashraf Ghani , the Chairman of this Transition Process oversees the program and we are certain that transition will be completed in 2013 whereby the entire country, the Afghan population, their security , their well-being and matters related to the governance will be handled by the Afghan government alone. Of course, certain measures of support will continue to be provided by our friends in the international community. 2014 will see, as we all know, the complete withdrawal of the international forces in Afghanistan -- that is NATO and ISAF. We thank all of you in this room for having provided support to Afghanistan all these years.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We were just last month in Chicago in NATO where many of you present around this meeting today pledged support to Afghanistan from 2014 to 2024, a very meaningful support, a substantial support to the Afghan security forces and to other elements of governance in Afghanistan. We are grateful and soon after that we were in China in Beijing for Shanghai Cooperation Council Organization’s meeting, where Afghanistan was accepted as an Observer of the Shanghai Cooperation Council, we are very grateful to China for their support and for welcoming us in their country and for doing all they can, to give Afghanistan a better relationship in this region with our neighbors and beyond.
During the Shanghai Cooperation Council, I found out to my very pleasant surprise , I should say, that the countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Council supported Afghanistan’s engagement with the international community, supported the pledges and the cooperation extended to us during Chicago NATO summit and in particular, in my meetings with President Hu Jintao and President Putin. Both the leaders expressed their support and understanding of the relationship that Afghanistan has evolved with the international community and after partnership deals signed with various allies of ours in the international community, the support from these global powers and our neighbors is very important to Afghanistan and the continued progress of Afghanistan towards stability and economic development. In deed, it is Afghanistan where there is cooperation of all of us, countries in the region, the neighbors and our allies in NATO and ISAF that will bring stability not only to Afghanistan but the much needed relief from terrorism and radicalism and violence to more stability and peace and progress in this region.
So in deed, as the heart of Asia, Afghanistan wishes to be and is seeing the signs of a more cooperative environment in Afghanistan and in the region. In this process of Afghanistan moving towards a complete transition and stability and progress from 2014 to 2024, one of the most important elements of success and for our endeavors towards that success is the successful completion of the peace process that we have launched two years ago under the leadership of Shaheed President Burhanuddin Rabbani and all of us around this meeting today have a responsibility in this regard, some in one form, others in other forms.
Mr. Salahuddin Rabbani the current Chairman of the Peace Council of Afghanistan will be very soon visiting our brothers in Saudi Arabia,  from there, subsequently, he will visit our brothers in Pakistan, his Majesty Khadim ul-Haramain ul-Sharifain [King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia] has been a guiding leader for us through all these difficult years in Afghanistan and since his Majesty has his representative here , I would request humbly that Khadim ul-Haramain ul-Sharifain’s support and guidance continue in the peace process of Afghanistan so that this country can see the reconciliation process that brings an end to violence in Afghanistan. We also very much hope that our brothers and sisters in Pakistan will do the same with us, we are already engaged in a serious and deep dialogue with our neighbors in Pakistan as well, our relations in this neighborhood and in this region have been against some of the contradictions that exist today in the international relations, prevailing international relations.
Afghanistan has fortunately so far been successful in maintaining equilibrium of relationship; we, by all means, intend to continue this, we have signed a strategic partnership deal with the United States of America and with Germany, with France, with Italy, with the United Kingdom and Europe, we have signed a strategic partnership deal with India in this region, these partnership deals will not reduce from our relations with our neighbors, but we rather hope that these partnerships add to the positive aspect of our relations with our neighbors, our brothers in Iran have been a steadfast supporter of Afghanistan for the past many years and Afghanistan wishes the continuation of this brotherly cooperative relationship as I am sure will come to us from our brothers in Iran and we hope that our partners in the west and particularly in the United States and others will recognize that Afghanistan is in this neighborhood and has to live in peace and prosperity with its neighbors and with the countries in this region.

Ladies and gentlemen,
From Bonn, from the very successful conference in Bonn, with a great, gracious hospitality of Germany, we would be moving in two to three weeks time to Tokyo, where Japan as always will be a gracious and generous host to an Afghan conference for the economic development in Afghanistan. Afghanistan will be presenting a vision for its economic future to the Tokyo Conference , a strategy for its economic development in the Tokyo Conference, I am sure , if not all of the ladies and gentlemen here but the majority of you will be present in the Tokyo Conference.

I hope that you continue to support Afghanistan’s efforts towards prosperity and economic well-being and in our view that well-being will come only when Afghanistan domestic economic growth is stronger, when Afghanistan begins to produce of its own soil and gain further economic prosperity and from the opportunities that exist in Afghanistan, that brings us to business and investment in Afghanistan that I hope, all of you will take the opportunity to invest in. China was the first country to invest in Afghanistan followed by others in the region and from our friends in the international community, we are grateful for those investments  and make sure that we provide all the protection and all the incentives that we can possibly provide under any circumstances , so that these investments are not only profitable and with dividends to those who have invested but also bring the much needed progress economically to the Afghan people and an economy that is self sustaining and moving towards a better future.

Ladies and gentlemen,
I welcome you once again to today’s meeting and I thank all of you for your participation and Afghanistan would assure you that Afghanistan recognizes out of a grim experience of the past that it is only in stability and harmony and peace in this region that Afghanistan can prosper and be stable  and your contributions towards this objective are of immense importance whether you are in our neighborhood or in our near neighborhood or farther away from us, your participation has been of immense importance to Afghanistan, I thank all of you , international organizations and the countries for having had the patience to be here with Afghanistan.

Now that Afghanistan has gotten the support and pledges from the international community that it was expecting, it is our job for the next two years when I will still be in office to undertake a fundamentally stronger activity towards improved , better governance in Afghanistan, I will be calling a special joint session of the parliament next Thursday to discuss Afghanistan’s needs towards improved governance and the steps that we must take so that in the next two years, we prepare the ground better for the next President and the next government to start on a better footing and on a firmer fundamental in Afghanistan, I thank you very, very much for your attention and hope, you will have a pleasant and happy stay in Kabul. I am sure you will be busy but I hope, it will also be pleasant and happy.

Thank you very much!