The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Speech by Afghan Foreign Minister Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi at 4th Foreign Ministers Meeting among the Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan

Honorable Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan’s neighboring and regional countries, please do accept my highest compliments. Allow me to express my appreciation for this initiative taken by regional countries, and particularly Uzbekistan, for hosting this round of talks. I also extend my gratitude to countries that exerted efforts for our participation in this meeting. This initiative expressly shows our joint commitment for the stability, security and economic prosperity of our own region. It indicates that we have a common future and must synergize our efforts to make full use of existing opportunities brought about by the prevalent stability and security and tackle common threats in a responsible manner. Afghanistan stands ready for close and coordinated engagement with the region. Excellences, We are gathered here today as the pace towards multipolarity has accelerated. The Eurasian continents generally, and our re gion particularly, will play a key role in this new world order. Afghanistan, located in an important geostrategic area between West, Central and South Asia, is currently blessed with a committed and responsive government. A stable and secure Afghanistan has the potential of playing a pivotal role in regional security, stability and economic connectivity. However, decades of imposed wars had not only snatched great economic and commercial opportunities from Afghanistan but the region at large. We now have a window of opportunity to transform Afghanistan into a key economic and commercial partner. Our expectation remains that regional countries will exert joint efforts to bring about conditions of stability and economic prosperity in Afghanistan so that it may assist Afghanistan in playing a constructive role. We, likewise, are ready to fulfill our obligations as a responsible government. Excellencies, We, under no circumstance, will allow Afghanistan to turn into an arena for negative confrontations and illegitimate rivalries. The recent positive developments in Afghanistan, such as the withdrawal of foreign forces, the rise of a powerful central government, law and order, encompassing security, end of corruption, access to judiciary and justice, ban on narcotics cultivation and trade, and the overall positive resolve of the Afghan government have spawned new opportunities for close and meaningful cooperation between Afghanistan and the region. The groundwork has been laid for Afghanistan to play its role in all regional connectivity projects such as Trans-Afghan Railway, TAPI, TAP, CASA-1000 and the Belt and Road Initiative. Excellencies, Let us not overlook that there remain many challenges in our common pursuit requiring us to overcome impediments through joint efforts in order to make proper use of all opportunities for our common region. Afghanistan remains firmly committed to not allowing any group or individual to use the territory of Afghanistan against any regional state or beyond, or to engage in the cultivation and trade of narcotics in Afghanistan. This commitment is not only in words, rather we are practically engaged in serious security and stabilization efforts inside Afghanistan and have discernable achievements to show. Nearly two years since the establishment of the current government, no significant security incident has transpired where its roots take source from Afghanistan. We encapsulate Afghanistan’s interests in the framework of regional security, stability and economic connectivity, and this precise discourse can best guarantee the interests of our entire region. On this basis, regional states must remain vigilant about not allowing their policy towards Afghanistan to fall prey to the negative propaganda and machinations of opposing powers. Rather, Afghanistan must be viewed from the lens of regional security, stability and economic connectivity, and through close observation of ground realities and positive engagement with its authorities. Positive and resolute political, security and economic regional cooperation can prove beneficial in securing both the interests of Afghanistan and the region. Instability in Afghanistan is not in the interest of anyone as it can become a source for regional instability, narcotics boom, arms proliferation, illegal migration and other challenges. To end, I again thank the Republic of Uzbekistan for hosting this important meeting. We hope that Afghanistan can represent itself in all future regional formats, initiatives and organizations so that we may jointly realize the full potential of the Asian Century. Wishing you a great day! Thank you very much.

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.