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Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Salahuddin Rabbani delivers press conference on the Sixth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference for Afghanistan (RECCA)

 

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Kabul, 04.09.2015

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan hosted the Sixth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference for Afghanistan (RECCA-VI) in Kabul. During the two day conference, technical working groups, academic sessions and senior officials met to discuss issues relating to regional cooperation. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Salahuddin Rabbani, during his press conference regarding RECCA, stated that the conference was important not as a means of finding finances for Afghanistan but rather to create an effective regional economic and trade mechanism. He noted that all regional countries would benefit from the work done in the RECCA projects and that establishing a constructive engagement through regional cooperation and active diplomacy will result in a win-win situation for the region.

H.E. Rabbani noted contributions from the participants of the conference including welcoming, “the Heart of Asia Process regarding the regional cooperation for a secure and stable Afghanistan and emphasized that there should be further coordination between the Heart of Asia Process and RECCA projects which have priority.”

H.E. Rabbani concluded his statements noting that, “The participants appreciated and thanked the United Nations, European Union, and other international financial organizations and the Government of Afghanistan also appreciated and thanked all the countries for their active presence in this conference which brings encouragement and hope for Afghanistan’s bright economic and security future.”

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H.E. Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani participates in the 42nd Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC

با وزیر امور خارجه امارات با وزیر امور خارجه ایران وزیر امور خارجه با وزیر خاجه ازبکستان

 

 

 

 

Vienna, 29.05.2015

H.E. Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani participated in the 42nd Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), held in Kuwait on 27 and 28 May 2015 under the title “Joint Vision to Strengthen Tolerance and Reject Terrorism”. In his statement, the Minister stated that efforts to combat terrorism must be redoubled and that both closer collaboration and a holistic approach are required to effectively counter this global menace. He highlighted the need for ending financial and logistical support for terrorist groups, a feasible strategy to counter ideologies that may lead to radicalization and terrorism, and called for empowerment of youth. Minister Rabbani also quoted H.E. President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani: “We are dealing with terror as a systematic phenomenon; it is becoming more lethal, more organized and more resourced. Therefore, it requires from all of us a common understanding, because without understanding this, we will not be able to fashion strategies to combat it.”

Minister Rabbani also recalled that Afghanistan has been a prime victim of terrorism and that the overall situation in the Muslim World continues to remain critical, demanding urgent attention. At the same time, the Foreign Minister noted that 2014 marked a critically important year in Afghanistan, with the successful conclusion of the security and political transitions and the successful holding of the Presidential elections. With reference to the work of the newly formed National Unity Government of Afghanistan, the Minister said: “We are working diligently to address the challenges facing us, and to utilize the many opportunities in front of us to secure peace and stability in Afghanistan and in our region.”

At the margins of the conference, Minister Rabbani met with the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates, H.E. Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as well as with the Foreign Minister of the I.R. of Iran, H.E. Mohammad Jawad Zareef.

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HE FM Rabbani’s Opening Speech at the International Contact Group

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May 21, 2015

 

Your Excellency Mr. President,

Distinguished Ministers and Delegates,

Honorable Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

From the outset, I would like to welcome you all to the 16th meeting of the International Contact Group in Kabul.

Please allow me to first honor the immense sacrifices and invaluable investments you have made for a more just, peaceful and democratic Afghanistan.

Thank you all very much for your presence here today,

We are gathering here at a very crucial time when two significant processes, the democratic transition of power and the assumption of full responsibility by our National Defense and Security Forces, have come to a conclusive end.

The completion of these processes has made two things very clear:

First, Afghanistan is moving forward responsibly to overcome the challenges, and make the best of opportunities to strengthen democratic processes.

Second, our friends and partners have a long-term commitment to the success of these processes, and will continue to support our people’s aspirations for realizing self-reliance, peace and stability.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Afghanistan has achieved substantial progress over the past decade in many areas ranging from health to education, economy, human rights, women’s empowerment and governance.

But certain challenges still remain, particularly in the area of security, which often cast shadows over our achievements in other areas.

Safeguarding and consolidating these, hard-earned gains and addressing the challenges we face, will require close collaboration among all of us.

The strong will of the National Unity Government which is reflected well in the leadership of His Excellency President Ghani and His Excellency Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah is making a difference on the ground, improving good governance, accountability, transparency, and preparing the environment for necessary reforms to take place effectively.

The long-term commitment of the International Community is of particular significance, providing Afghanistan with the necessary support to implement the much-needed reforms and deliver on our mutual commitments.

Distinguished delegates,

International Contact Group has been an important forum for consultation and consensus building, and I take this opportunity to profoundly thank all members of the Group for their continued support and efforts for a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan.

I would also like to thank Ambassador Michael Koch, the German Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan for his outstanding leadership, dedication and continued support to this forum.

I hope that today’s meeting of the ICG will lead to constructive discussions, and further strengthen our cooperation at all levels, particularly through better regional solutions for a more peaceful Afghanistan.

With this conclusion, I would like to invite His Excellency President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani to present his keynote address. 

Your Excellency, the floor is yours!

H.E. Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani addresses NATO meeting of Foreign Ministers

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Pr na 2 Pr Na 3

 

 

 

 

 

Vienna, 14.05.2015

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, H.E. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu hosts a meeting of Foreign Ministers of NATO countries and NATO partners in Antalya, Turkey, on 13 and 14 of May, under the chairmanship of NATO Secretary General, H.E. Jens Stoltenberg. The Foreign Minister of Afghanistan was also invited to attend and delivered a statement.
Yesterday, NATO Foreign Ministers decided to maintain a presence in Afghanistan after the end of the Resolute Support Mission. Mr. Stoltenberg stated that “our aim will be to advise and instruct the Afghan security institutions, to help them become self-sufficient, and to build on what we have achieved so far, as part of the broader international effort.”
Foreign Minister Rabbani in his address to NATO welcomed the commitment shown by the alliance towards Afghanistan and stated that: “We received assurance from all the NATO members that their support will continue to enhance the capability of the Afghan national security forces. In the coming years, they will be standing by the Afghan people”.
General John Campbell, Commander of Resolute Support Mission, and representatives from the United Nations, the European Union, Japan, and South Korea also participated.
Foreign Minister Rabbani also met NATO Secretary General Mr. Stoltenberg and held bilateral meetings with other Foreign Ministers at the margins of the conference to discuss in detail prospects of the future cooperation.
ISAF was established by UNSCR 2001 and concluded in December 2014, making the security transition to the Resolute Support Mission.

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Transcript of Speech by H.E. Salahuddin Rabbani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at the official reception, hosting the foreign ambassadors based in Kabul

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February 24, 2015
Kabul, Afghanistan

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

 

Distinguished Ambassadors,

Members of the Diplomatic Community,

Friends and Colleagues,

It is my distinct pleasure to warmly welcome you all to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs this evening.

Tonight’s gathering brings together many distinguished Ambassadors and representatives of both partner countries and organizations with whom we share a common purpose:  a stable, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan.

Thank you for being here tonight!

I do not want to make this too formal, as this reception is an opportunity for all of us to relax and reconnect, but there are a few points that I would like to share briefly about where we are now, and where we are heading, particularly regarding Afghanistan’s foreign policy, as we begin the Decade of Transformation.

A year ago, there were open questions about whether Afghanistan would complete its security and political transitions without being further destabilized.

I think we all can agree that Afghanistan did weather some difficult storms in this period – most notably, the challenges associated with our difficult, but ultimately successful political transition.

Our people demonstrated patience and fortitude, and came together, in a spirit of unity, to protect and promote our national interests which resulted in the formation of the National Unity Government offering a strong foundation to build on our past progress and realize our future goals.

The successful completion of security transition is another milestone putting the Afghan National Security Forces in the lead to provide security across the country.

Although emerging from the long electoral process has made Afghan political forces more resilient, a great deal of work remains for the National Unity Government.

Restoring confidence in governance, not only with Afghans but our international partners as well; applying lessons learned from the elections to institutional reforms, so that the shortcomings of the past never happen again; enhancing the capabilities of the Afghan National Security Forces; and implementing effective economic policies for the country towards becoming more self-reliant are the key focus of our work in the coming months.

Beyond this, the Transformation Decade also brings with it a new phase in Afghanistan’s foreign policy, focused particularly on economic development.  A key aspect of this is regional cooperation.

President Ghani, CEO Dr. Abdullah, and I recognize the importance of our relationship with our immediate and extended neighbors and allies as defined within the five circles of Afghanistan’s foreign policy.

We endow trust in, and goodwill to our relationships with all our neighbors, regional and international partners.

We will do our utmost to enhance our friendly and effective cooperation without letting our relationship with one country overshadow our relationship with others.

We are ready to explore avenues of cooperation that would bear desired outcomes collectively while respecting our national interests.

In this regard, the most tangible progress we have made since the formation of the National Unity Government is in the area of regional diplomacy and global outreach.

This is partly a result of the clarity of vision and policy that the leadership of the National Unity Government, and President Ghani in particular, has forged in the past few months.

The core message of this new policy is consistent and straightforward:

 

  • Afghan people demand peace and stability,
  • Afghanistan is gradually, but surely realizing its role in regional and international political, security and economic spheres,
  • Finally, Afghanistan is working to enhance its role and position as a responsible member of the international community,

As we set out to achieve these objectives, we will need regional and international assistance to address the challenges we face and to fully embrace and utilize existing and emerging opportunities.

Taking this opportunity, I wish to express our gratitude to all our regional and international partners for the support they have provided to Afghanistan over the past 13 years.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Afghanistan’s peace and stability have direct impact on the region and beyond and the challenges we face cannot be confined to our borders nor can they be insulated or pushed into others’ backyards.

Terrorism, violent extremism, drug trafficking and other forms of organized crimes as well as mass human migration, are serious threats to regional stability and international order.

Overcoming these threats demand a unified and integrated response through concerted efforts and effective collaboration at both regional and international levels.

We are hopeful in being able to increase the level of regional cooperation to combat these challenges, which is vital to our common success.

Dear Friends,

There are opportunities in this region as well.  Trade, transit, communications and energy interdependence are all opportunities which can ensure the interests of all countries in the region with the implementation of effective economic policies.

Our location as a land-bridge between major economic powers offers an excellent opportunity for economic integration at both regional and international levels.

Our clarity in policy and vigorous diplomatic outreach has been well-received in the region and has helped our neighbors shape their long-term vision for partnership with Afghanistan more precisely.

The emerging regional pivot toward Afghanistan is an important outcome that involves two key interrelated elements:

First: Increased regional interest, participation and support to political, economic and security processes in Afghanistan; and

Second: The need for consensus to forge a more unified regional position in support of these processes.

One area where this consensus is beginning to take shape is,  support to advance our peace and reconciliation efforts, as the priority has been highlighted in various international and regional conferences, including those held in Brussels, London, and Beijing.

In this respect, we are in the process of boosting our engagement with a number of neighboring countries and other partners to achieve real and substantial progress.

We are also inspired by the increased interest of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation and its member-states, in support of the Afghan led and owned peace process.

The OIC and its member-states can play an important role in the process, and its active engagement can have a significant impact given the instrumental misuse of Islamic teachings by terror groups and other insurgents.

With government’s strong will particularly through the leadership of the National Unity Government, along with the changing dynamics within the region, the Islamic World, and the long standing support of the United States and other members of the international community, the prospects for peace and stability in Afghanistan grows stronger.

But reaching full fruition in the process will continue to require patience and collaboration of all our regional and international partners.

We are hopeful that the coming months will bring positive outcomes for Afghanistan and the wider region through the continuation of a multi-lateral diplomacy with the purpose of strengthening regional processes and sustainable international support.

In this regard, the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs will operate as proactively as possible, but we need your help.

We hope you will raise with my office any outstanding issues you may have so we can address them as soon as possible, and I am confident that for the sake of close cooperation, you would coordinate outreach and engagements through the Ministry.

And with that I would like to thank you all again for accepting our invitation and coming to this reception tonight.

Afghan Ministers sworn in

National Unity Government’s Eight Cabinet Ministers Sworn in

Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, administered an oath to eight cabinet ministers who recently won confidence vote from the Lower House.

 

Afghan Cabinet Ministers sworn in.

Afghan Cabinet Ministers sworn in.

 

During an official ceremony that took place at Presidential Palace where the Government Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, 2nd Vice-President Mohammad Sarwar Danesh, President’s Special Representative on Reforms and Good Governance Ahmad Zia Masoud, 1st Deputy Chief Executive Engineer Mohammad Khan and 2nd Deputy Chief Executive Mohammad Mohaqiq were present, Salahuddin Rabbani Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eklil Hakimi Minister of Finance, Noorulhaq Ulomi Minister of Interior Affairs, Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz Minister of Public Health, Dawood Shah Saba Minister of Mines and Petroleum, Faiz Mohammad Osmani Minister of Haj and Religious Affairs, Sayed Hussain Alemi Balkhi Minister of Refugees and Repatriations, and Engineer Nasir Ahmad Durani Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, took an oath of loyalty.

 

The ministers of National Unity Government swore to protect the Holy religion of Islam, respect the Constitution and other laws of Afghanistan, safeguard the rights of citizens as well as independence, territorial integrity and the national unity of the people of Afghanistan, and, in all deeds consider the Almighty’s presence, and perform their entrusted duties honestly.

After the swear-in-ceremony, President Ghani and Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah congratulated the cabinet ministers and wished them success to serve the people of Afghanistan.