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Daily Archives: June 25, 2015

H.E. Minister Salamat Azimi meets with OSCE Secretary General H.E. Ambassador Lamberto Zannier

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Vienna, June 25 2015

On Thursday, 25 June Minister Salamat Azimi, Minister of Counter Narcotics in Afghanistan, attended a meeting with H.E. Ambassador Lamberto Zannier, Secretary General of the OSCE, who welcomed Minister Azimi to Vienna and praised Afghanistan for having strong women in leadership positions. Secretary General Zannier briefed Minister Azimi on the actions of the OSCE in the region, specifically in the Dushanbe area and in the border region and restated his personal commitment to these efforts. He further extended an invitation to H.E. minister Azimi to take part in the upcoming World Drug Conference to be organized by the OSCE in Vienna in the coming month of September. Minister Azimi thanked the Secretary General for his assurances and for the OSCE’s efforts to keep Afghanistan on the agenda. Minister Azimi in turn, delivered a briefing on the current counter narcotics situation in Afghanistan, highlighting the ongoing challenges facing the National Unity Government.  She also called on the OSCE to do more to aid the country in its fight against illicit drugs and called for increased cooperation between counter narcotics police and border security.

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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani during Working Session III (the OSCE and its Neighborhood) at the OSCE Annual Security Review Conference

Mr. Chairman, Dear Moderator,

Thank you for giving me the floor. I will try to be brief in my remarks, but I still wish to thank the OSCE for organizing this year’s Annual Security Review Conference to take stock of current and ongoing security challenges in the wider OSCE region. I am also pleased that the session will take a look at the OSCE’s support to the ongoing economic, political and security transition during the decade of Transformation in Afghanistan. Let me also thank the keynote speakers of this working session for their comprehensive and thought-provoking presentations.

Afghanistan remains ready to contribute to complementary activities across the three dimensions of security in order to respond to transnational threats and challenges. Border security and management activities with our three neighboring OSCE Participating States, with which we enjoy an excellent relationship, will be vital to promote stability and security in our region.

Addressing transnational threats and challenges constitutes a priority of the National Unity Government of Afghanistan. With the continued support from our key partners, we are implementing our security agenda as we have entered into the first year of Afghanistan’s Decade of Transformation (2015-2024). We attach great importance to the OSCE’s capabilities and comparative advantage in responding to existing, changing and new threats and challenges including terrorism, illicit drug trafficking, and organized crime. Afghanistan remains committed to both our excellent partnership with the OSCE and to regional co-operation in general, as it constitutes a main pillar of our foreign policy. In this context, we appreciate that the OSCE and its participating States remain committed to the promotion of strong links with its neighbors, including Afghanistan.

The Government of Afghanistan remains keen on expanding the collaboration with the OSCE and its participating and partner States. As you know, while Afghanistan enjoys a good relationship in general with all OSCE Partners and Participating States, 38 of the 40 contributing nations to Resolute Support Mission (RSM) are also OSCE participating States and OSCE Partner for Co-operation Australia is also among the RSM countries. Let me seize this opportunity to encourage additional OSCE programmes and projects for Afghanistan, in the security area, but also in the other two dimensions of the work of the OSCE.

The UN Security Council, in its recent periodic briefing on Afghanistan, discussed the situation in the country while expressing their concerns for the ongoing situation, in particular the emerging threat of terrorist groups under the flag of Daesh. The members called on the support of the international community to Afghanistan.

Among the evolving threats to my country’s security, including the Taliban and other anti-governmental elements and terrorist groups, is the increased influx of foreign fighters from neighboring countries, operating under the Daesh flag. We hold the view that a holistic approach of regional dimension will be required to effectively combat this particular challenge.

Afghanistan is a long time victim of terrorism and brutal indiscriminate attacks. However the recent failed attack against the Parliament of Afghanistan has proven the readiness and capability of our brave National Security Forces to face such challenges, and they have shown their strong commitment to the promotion of security and stability in our region.

Afghanistan is ready to join sub-regional, regional and international efforts to tackle the growing threat of foreign terrorist fighters, radicalization and violent extremists including the underlying conditions and concurrent causes that exacerbate the problem. We are ready to act co-operatively, and we seek technical assistance, provision of capacity-building programmes, transfer of knowledge, and sharing of best practices in this area. I can only repeat that Afghanistan remains dedicated to closer and deeper co-operation on security and other issues with a view to enhancing regional stability and prosperity.

Mr. Moderator, Dear Colleagues,

We believe that thanks to the sacrifices and commitment of the Afghan people, supported by Afghanistan’s partners and the sacrifices of its friends over the last 13 years, Afghanistan is a different place today. This year was the most difficult year in Afghanistan due to the ongoing transition, the withdrawal of international security forces from the country, and the preparations of all terrorist and anti-governmental groups to take advantage of this situation. Fortunately, the Afghan National Security Forces are successfully testing their capacity and are committed to facing all remaining and evolving challenges posed by these terrorist and anti-governmental elements under different names and flags. Afghanistan is committed to serving as a connecting bridge in our region and beyond, and to further serving as an opportunity for connectivity, trade, transit and investment in our region, which is vital for the stability and prosperity for all of us. In order to build on our achievements and to succeed in our commitments, we need the continued support and partnership of our friends and partners, including the OSCE.

Thank you.