About Us Afganistan

Statement by H.E. Mr. Hamid Karzai

President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Excellency President Nazarbayev,

Excellencies, Heads of States and Governments,

Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,  

I am delighted to be here at this important gathering. I convey the warm wishes of the Afghan people to the leaders attending this 2nd Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia. Allow me to thank His Excellency President Nursultan Nazarbayev and the people of the Republic of Kazakhstan for the warm hospitality extended to us.

I note with great appreciation that the conference is bringing together an impressive group of countries and leaders from across Asia.

This is a reflection of the interests and concerns we all share in common, and of our need to work together to address them. Above all, the success of this conference is a tribute to the leadership of President Nazarbayev who saw the need, four years ago, for a unique forum to explore multilateral approaches to promote peace, security and solidarity in Asia, and who took the valuable initiative of bringing us together for CICA’s first conference.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have gathered for the 2nd Summit of CICA at a time when some of the challenges that justified the establishment of CICA are still present.

Among the challenges we face, terrorism poses by far the gravest threat to our security and our efforts to improve the lives of our people.

Terrorism is a menace that does not recognise borders and cannot be confined to a country. To fight terrorism effectively, we need a concerted effort and a cooperation that is real, result-oriented and driven by a genuine commitment. We must also remember that this threat will not go away unless we fight it to the roots, and eliminate the sources from where terrorists get their ideological inspiration, training and financing.

Our experience in Afghanistan shows that combining cooperation at national and international levels is the key ingredient for a successful strategy to fight terrorism.

Five years ago in Afghanistan an international terrorist network ruled the lives of our people and threatened the security and stability of the entire region and beyond. Thanks to the strong determination of our people and critical support from the international community we removed the terrorist rule. Over the past five years the Afghan people have taken steady steps towards establishing lasting peace, the rule of law, legitimate institutions of state and a better live.

In our endeavour to defeat terrorism and rebuild Afghanistan, we are grateful for the unwavering support of the international community, including countries of the region. In this context, I wish to highlight the presence of the international coalition against terrorism in Afghanistan.

This presence has been critical not only to the fight against terrorism and the rebuilding of security institutions in Afghanistan, but has also contributed to security of the whole region.

The production and trafficking of narcotics is another major challenge for Afghanistan and our region. We see a direct connection between narcotics and terrorism, and are eager to cooperate with countries of the region and the international community on all aspects of the fight against narcotics, from law enforcement and border control measures, to interdiction of trafficking and eradication of cultivated fields. As we speak, there is a poppy eradication exercise going on in Afghanistan, and significant successes have also been achieved in other aspects of the fight.

We need to acknowledge that narcotics are not the problem of Afghanistan alone. In reality, the main profit accrued from drug trade goes to the regional and international mafia organisations. Therefore, I emphasise the need for sincere cooperation of the international community especially focusing on tackling the mafia of traffickers and providing means of alternative livelihood for poor farmers.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our region is blessed with fascinating diversity, which must be seen as a source of our strength. Thanks to the cultural and historical bonds that tie us together, our region has the potential to achieve greater economic integration and prosperity.

To realise this potential we need to remove barriers that hinder contact and exchange among our nations, encourage movement and interaction across national boundaries and build greater confidence across divergent political interests. I believe there is no conflict or clash of interest in our region that will not, ultimately, yield to a solution. The key is to facilitate dialogue, maximise interaction and build confidence.

However, for interaction to be effective, it must be anchored in solid economic partnership and more effective cooperation in the field of security.

Consistent with the spirit of the Almaty Act, Afghanistan is fully committed to enhancing cooperation for regional peace and security.

As the prosperity of our people is tied to the economic development in the entire region, we are committed to expanding bilateral and multilateral economic and trade relations with the region.

I welcome the clear messages contained in our Joint Declaration for this Summit, in particular with regards to our common fight against terrorism and narcotics. I also support the establishment of CICA Secretariat and pledge any support that Afghanistan can provide. Allow me to thank the CICA member states for including support to Afghanistan’s reconstruction in the CICA Declaration on Eliminating Terrorism and Promoting Dialogue among Civilizations.

Once again, I thank His Excellency President Nursultan Nazarbayev for his initiative and efforts towards peace and greater prosperity in Asia.

Thank you.