Latest News
Home / Tag Archives: OSCE

Tag Archives: OSCE

OSCE Asian Contact Group Meeting held at the Hofburg Conference Center

OSCE Asian Contact Group Meeting held at the

Hofburg Conference Center

 

Vienna, May 17, 2016

 

Today, the 2nd OSCE Asian Contact Group Meeting in 2016 was held at the Hofburg, chaired by the Ambassador of Serbia, H.E. Vuk Zugic. The Deputy Director General of the European Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Mr. Toshihiro Aiki, made a presentation on “Japan´s Enhanced Contribution to Peace, Security and Stability in Asia”

In a brief intervention, the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan, Mr. Hassan Soroosh, made reference to Japan´s role in international efforts in supporting peace and stability and commended Japan as one of Afghanistan’s largest donors, supporting the country with more than USD 5 billion of assistance since 2001. The funds were invested in key areas such as agricultural and rural development; infrastructure; human resources development and education; and health and gender. Mr. Soroosh also expressed his appreciation for the role of Japan in mobilizing international support behind the reconstruction and development process in Afghanistan including through hosting a number of important international conferences on Afghanistan such as the Tokyo Conference on the Reconstruction of Afghanistan held in January 2002 as well as the 2012 Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan co-hosted by the Japanese and Afghan governments, as well as supporting several Afghanistan-focused regional economic co-operation projects.

During the Asian Contact Group Meeting, the German Chairmanship and a number of delegations expressed their sympathy and condolences with regard to the terrorist attack that took place in Kabul on April 19th   this year claiming many lives and injured many others, and also with regard to the victims of the recent earthquake hitting Japan. Mr. Soroosh thanked delegations for their words of sympathy and condolences while highlighting the fact that Afghanistan remains a prime victim of terrorism and that intensified regional and international co-operation is needed to address this menace. In this context he thanked the OSCE for relevant counter-terrorism training and capacity-building opportunities offered for participants from Afghanistan.

The meeting also included briefings by H.E. the Thai Ambassador and the OSCE Secretariat on the ongoing preparations for the 2016 OSCE-Asian Conference, to be held from 6th-7th June, 2016 in Bangkok as well as an overview by the US delegation on a planned side event on cyber security at the Bangkok OSCE-Asian Conference.

 

– E N D –

 

Statement as delivered by the Chargé d’Affaires a.i., Mr. Hassan Soroosh in response to the Head of the OSCE Office in Tajikistan at the OSCE 1100th Permanent Council Meeting

DELEGATION OF AFGHANISTAN

S t a t e m e n t

as delivered by the Chargé d’Affaires a.i., Mr. Hassan Soroosh

in response to the Head of the OSCE Office in Tajikistan

OSCE – PC1100

May 12, 2016

Thank you, Mr. Chairperson,

 

I wish to join the previous speakers in welcoming Ambassador Markus Müller, Head of the OSCE Office in Tajikistan back to the Permanent Council and thanking him for his comprehensive report.

The Government of Afghanistan highly appreciates the excellent work carried out by the OSCE Office in Tajikistan, including the OSCE Border Management Staff College (BMSC).

Since its inauguration in 2009, the BMSC has proven to be a highly effective and very visible institution among many other successful OSCE activities.  Last year alone, 122 participants from Afghanistan graduated from the BMSC’s courses. Female participants from Afghanistan also attended the Border Management Staff Course organized exclusively for Women Leaders. Afghanistan is interested in further improving the gender ratio of our participants at the BMSC’s courses, and we also highly value long-term training programs with the objective of sustainable outcomes such as “train-the-trainers” programs.

Looking to the Activity Plan for 2016, we see a large number of significant events during the second half of this year and I wish to seize this opportunity to thank Ambassador Müller, BMSC Director Ms. Dita Nowicka and their colleagues in Dushanbe for their excellent work and continued co-operation.  Let me also thank Tajikistan for hosting all these activities as well as all donors for their contributions.

We appreciate that the BMSC, when developing courses, takes into account the fact that a number of challenges are increasingly of transnational nature and interconnected. Terrorism and illicit drugs, trafficking of human beings as well as of arms and weapons and other types of organized crime pose huge challenges to all of us. The OSCE’s Border Security and Management Concept has proven to be an effective tool in addressing these threats, and the respective training programs remain vital means to prepare us for effectively applying this concept.

Let me also re-emphasize that the Government of Afghanistan is highly interested in further expanding our co-operation with Tajikistan and other Central Asian OSCE participating States, and with the OSCE as a whole, with a view to both addressing our common challenges as well as to unlocking existing potentials for regional economic co-operation. In this context, I am pleased to inform you that this morning the work on the CASA-1000 power project — an important regional project — was inaugurated during a ceremony in Dushanbe in the presence of the heads of governments and states of the concerned countries, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan.

In closing, I wish to state that we would appreciate being increasingly involved in the activities of the organization including training and capacity-building opportunities.

 

Thank you!

 

 

 

The Delegation of Afghanistan Attend the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Winter Session

 

2016-WM-plenary hall

Vienna, 26.02.2016

From February 25 – 26, 2016 the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly held the 15th Winter Meeting at the Hofburg Congress Centre in Vienna. In attendance to the meetings on behalf of the National Assembly of Afghanistan were Mr. Haji Mohammad Abduh and  Mr. Fazil Azim Mujadidi, members of the Lower House of Afghanistan and Ms. Amena Afzali and  Ms. Aziza Musleh from the Upper House. During the session of the General Committee on Political Affairs and Security, the delegation of Afghanistan delivered a statement on the importance of counter terrorism efforts. It was noted that as terrorist networks are interconnected at both regional and international levels, it must be addressed through coordinated, collective and sustained efforts at all levels, including a special focus on countering the financing of terrorism and dismantling safe haven for terrorists. It was also stated that Afghanistan remains grateful for the invaluable support received from regional and international partners, particularly the OSCE Participating States and Partners for Co-Operation and that the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is particularly well placed to provide a good platform for parliamentarians across the OSCE region to discuss and collaborate on counter terrorism efforts.

A statement was also shared on the second day by the delegation of Afghanistan at the Joint Session of the three General Committees. The statement included an overview of the progress made in Afghanistan in the post-Taliban period for improving the situation of women in Afghanistan as well as the importance of the current constitution which established equal rights and access to justice for all citizens. Further achievements include the establishment of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. The statement noted that while there is still much progress to be made towards the full realization of women’s rights in the country, the National Assembly of Afghanistan is committed to taking an active role in overcoming challenges. The importance of the support of the OSCE Parliamentary for providing a greater opportunity for the exchange of views and experiences was also highlighted in the statement.

During the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the delegation of Afghanistan held several bilateral meetings, including with the President of the OSCE PA, Mr. Ilkka Kanerva and one of the Vice-Presidents, Ms. Christine Muttonen. In addition to this, the delegation met with a Member of Parliament of the Austrian Lower House, Ms. Gisela Wurm, who chairs the Gender Equality Committee. The delegation also had the opportunity to meet with the OSCE Secretary General, Ambassador Lamberto Zannier, as well as the OSCE Parliamentary Special Representative on Gender Issues, Dr. Hedy Fry.

Further information on the session can be found here.

 – E N D –

Statement by Mr. Hassan Soroosh, Chargé d’Affaires, Delegation of Afghanistan, in response to the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, H.E. Araz Azimov at the OSCE Permanent Council Meeting 1089

Vienna, 11.02.2016

Thank you Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, please allow me to join other distinguished delegations in thanking H.E. Deputy Minister Araz Azimov for his comprehensive address which provided a good overview of the efforts and achievements made by Azerbaijan in recent years including in the areas of economic development and regional cooperation.
I wish to seize this opportunity to highlight that we greatly value the excellent relations and co-operation that exist between our two countries. Since 2002, numerous high-level meetings between Afghanistan and Azerbaijan, including at the heads of state level have taken place, which can be exemplified by the recent visit of H.E. President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani to Baku, in December 2015. We also enjoy fruitful inter-parliamentary relations which will hopefully further grow in the future.
Furthermore, troops from Azerbaijan joined ISAF in 2002 and today, Azerbaijan is contributing to the Resolute Support Mission, for which we are grateful.
We appreciate the generous support from Azerbaijan in terms of the provision of education and training opportunities including for our law enforcement officers and medical personnel. We also appreciate investments made by Azerbaijan, in particular in Afghanistan’s infrastructure. There is also good dynamics in terms of our bilateral trade turnover.
We believe that increased economic ties will complement our long-standing political relations. We see a number of important transit opportunities between Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey including the Lapis-Lazuli-Corridor as one of the shortest and cheapest transit routes in the region.
It is our goal to turn Afghanistan into a regional land-bridge and a hub for regional energy cooperation and in doing so we are trying to share the benefits of our centrality, including through RECCA and the Heart of Asia Process, with countries in the region and beyond, with a view towards enhancing trade and development at both regional and continental levels.
In closing, let me state that we are confident that both our bilateral co-operation as well as our collaboration in multilateral settings – including under the OSCE – will be further strengthened.

 – E N D –

DELEGATION OF AFGHANISTAN: Written Contribution – Response to the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier

Written Contribution by the Delegation of Afghanistan to the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier 

Vienna, 14.01.2016

 

Minister Steinmeier,

Secretary General,

Distinguished delegates,

At the outset, let me express on behalf of the people and Government of Afghanistan our deepest condolences for the victims of the brutal terrorist attack in Istanbul on 12 January. We strongly condemn this terrorist attack and we stand with our friends in Turkey, Germany and those in other countries affected by this heinous crime. Our hearts and thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones and we wish a speedy recovery for those who have been injured.

I am pleased to join other distinguished delegations to warmly welcome you, Minister Steinmeier, back to the Permanent Council and let me congratulate you and your teams both here in Vienna and in Berlin for taking on the OSCE Chairmanship in 2016.

Let me also seize this occasion to thank once again the outgoing Serbian Chairmanship for their excellent leadership during 2015. I also wish to thank Switzerland, as the chair of the Asian Contact Group for their great efforts during last year and I should like to congratulate Serbia for assuming the chairmanship of the Group in 2016.

Allow me also to express our gratitude to Secretary General Lamberto Zannier and his staff for the continued support toward OSCE’s engagement with the Partners for Co-operation including Afghanistan.

Minister Steinmeier,

We thank you for your comprehensive presentation and wish to reassure you of our full support.

Recent terrorist attacks across the OSCE region demonstrate the necessity of the OSCE’s comprehensive and cross-dimensional approach to security. Interlinked phenomena and threats — including terrorism,  illicit narcotics, human trafficking and smuggling of migrants, immense economic and environmental challenges, corruption, shortcomings in the areas of education and health — all call for a systematic cross-dimensional approach as offered by the OSCE.

I wish to highlight that while Afghanistan is grateful for the support provided by the OSCE as well as bilaterally by many of its participating and Partner States, we continue to need your strong backup in order to take our national development agenda forward throughout the Decade of Transformation (2015-2024).

The friendly and long-standing relations between Germany and Afghanistan date back to the beginning of the 20th century. In August this year, you, Minister Steinmeier, marked the 100th anniversary of our friendship in a ceremony with both Their Excellencies the President and the Chief Executive of Afghanistan in Kabul. Since 2002, Germany has been among our largest and closest partners and we are very grateful for the support, sacrifices and for our friendship.

Dear Minister,

As you highlighted, dialogue, trust and security will be the principles that will orient the Chairmanship’s compass in 2016; we fully support this motto and we will do our best to work with you as an active partner.

In closing, let me reiterate that we highly value our excellent partnership with the OSCE. Afghanistan has greatly benefited from the engagement with the organization including from the programmes and projects following two ministerial decisions in 2007 and 2011, respectively. We trust that the engagement with Afghanistan will remain a priority on the OSCE’s agenda in 2016. We look forward to another fruitful year of co-operation with the organization and its participating and Partner States, under the German Chairmanship.

I wish you, Mr. Foreign Minister, and your able teams in Berlin and Vienna every success.

Thank you

– E N D –

Statement by H.E. Hekmat Khalil Karzai, Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at the 22nd Meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council

Belgrade, December 03-04, 2015

 

Mr. Chairman,

Mr. Secretary General,

Excellencies,

Distinguished delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very pleased to join you all at this 22nd Meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council. And I would like to thank our Serbian friends for the gracious and warm hospitality they have extended to my delegation, as well as for their excellent chairmanship of the OSCE this year.
I also wish to thank the Secretary General and his able staff for their assistance with organizing this meeting. And I also wish to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all distinguished delegations for continuing to support Afghanistan.

Mr. Chairman,

This year, we are gathering at a very crucial time. As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the OSCE, the role of this organization is becoming more evident in addressing the transnational threats, including terrorism, organized crime and narcotics, which continue to pose challenges to the security and stability of the participating States and Partners for Co-operation. 40 years after the establishment of the OSCE, its vision and goals as a forward-looking organization remain very relevant in today’s security environment. The organization has proved to be an effective forum for dialogue and co-operation in addressing the most pressing security issues that have an impact on the OSCE region and beyond.

We believe that the OSCE has the potential to grow and expand in the future. As a Partner for Co-operation, Afghanistan reiterates its firm commitment to the principles, norms and values of the OSCE, as we look forward to a sustainable partnership with the organization.

Mr. Chairman, and distinguished participants,

14 years ago, Afghanistan and the international community embarked on a common journey aimed at bringing security and stability in Afghanistan, the region and the wider world. This common journey has been marked by considerable efforts and sacrifices that have resulted in many positive changes in the country, which can be exemplified by:

  • Establishment of the democratic institutions;
  • An expanding education system that allows more than 10 million boys and girls to attend school and over 150,000 others to pursue higher education across the country;
  • Increased access to health care services;
  • A vibrant civil society, including free media; and
  • Increased access for women to justice, economic and political opportunities as well as well-trained national security forces.

These achievements would have been impossible without the support and sacrifices of our international partners, for which we are grateful.

2014 and 2015 have been two years of high significance for us in Afghanistan, marking a milestone transition in this journey. Despite many challenges, two important security and political transitions were made possible.

Our National Security Forces were able to take over the security responsibility from the international forces in a phased manner. On December 31, last year, all combat operations were handed over to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). Our international partners continue to support ANSF under the Resolute Support Mission, in the form of training, advice and assistance. In this regard, I would like to express my gratitude to all those international friends, who have contributed, for many years, to the NATO/ISAF mission and those contributing to the Resolute Support Mission.

The political transition marked an important milestone in Afghanistan’s journey that began in the post-2001 period. Despite many security threats, the Afghan people, both men and women, lined up in the polling stations last year to cast their votes. This demonstrated their unshakeable commitment to democracy, peace and stability. In spite of all the shortcomings and irregularities, we were able to peacefully complete the first ever-democratic transfer of power in the country’s history that resulted in the formation of the National Unity Government of Afghanistan.

With these two transitions behind us, we have now taken steady steps towards the broader process of transitioning into a self-reliant country. Last year this time, we presented to our international partners in London our reform agenda entitled “Realizing Self-Reliance: Commitments to Reforms and Renewed Partnership.”

This outlines our plans for, “improving security, political stability, economic and fiscal stabilization, advancing good governance, including electoral reform and strengthening democratic institutions, promoting the rule of law, and respect for human rights, particularly in relation to women and girls, fighting corruption and the illicit economy including narcotics, and paving the way for enhanced private sector investments and sustainable social, environmental and economic development.”

During the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) held in September this year in Kabul, the Afghan government and our international partners reaffirmed their commitment to working together towards the implementation of this reform agenda. We are also preparing for two important conferences next year, first in Warsaw to discuss security and an enhanced enduring partnership between Afghanistan and the International Community and the Brussels Conference to discuss development co-operation in order to ensure continuity in the co-operation in the coming years.

Mr. Chairman and Colleagues,

Terrorism continues to pose serious challenges to the stability and development of our societies. The recent terrorist attacks in France, Turkey, Lebanon and Mali remind us of the fact that terrorists recognize no borders, nationality or religion. For many years, Afghanistan has been the prime victim of this menace and continues to pay the highest price and sacrifice, and suffer the most in fighting this scourge.

These terrorist attacks as well as the events in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya are linked with each other. Afghanistan is the battle-front and we are fighting terrorism and extremism, on behalf of everyone in the international community. We believe that addressing such a growing network of terrorist groups across the globe requires co-ordinated, collective and sustained efforts at all levels. We have long raised the importance of such efforts that need to be mainly directed towards dismantling the safe havens of terrorists where they are financed and equipped in our region.

It is also important to note that the links between terrorism, narcotics and various forms of organized crime are growing across the globe. Terrorists continue to benefit from drug production and trafficking to finance their activities. The Government of Afghanistan is committed to continuing its counter narcotics efforts. We have developed our new National Drug Action Plan based on a balanced, comprehensive, co-ordinated, and sustainable approach to combating illegal drug production, trade, and usage. The new action plan integrates key elements of counter narcotics efforts including alternative development, eradication, interdiction, and drug treatment and prevention into broader efforts to further good governance, economic development, security and stability.

Given the regional and global drivers of drug production and trafficking—including its financial aspect—addressing this menace requires an integrated and balanced efforts by all of us based on the principle of shared responsibility.

Migration has become another serious challenge we are all facing, and the Government of Afghanistan understands your challenges and concerns in managing this exodus. We have taken a number of concrete measures in Afghanistan including the establishment of a National Refugees and Repatriation Commission by the cabinet that is personally chaired by President Ghani. We are also working to improve the capacity of our Consulates in different parts of the world to provide better consular services. Recently, President Ghani himself launched the Jobs for Peace project to create jobs that have been lost, following the drawdown of the NATO forces. We hope this project would help slow down the emigration of our youth. However, the success of these projects would require a reasonable level of resources to be provided by the international community.

Mr. Chairman,

Regional co-operation remains key in addressing regional challenges and threats as well as in utilizing the opportunities for stabilization and development at both national and regional levels. Afghanistan has been pursuing a well-developed regional co-operation agenda mainly under two important Afghanistan-focused regional co-operation frameworks: RECCA and the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process. The Istanbul Process, launched in 2011, has provided a forum for dialogue and co-operation to address our common challenges through a set of confidence building measures. I believe that the Istanbul Process can greatly benefit from the longstanding experience of the OSCE in the area of regional confidence building and I am glad to see that the organization has been part of many activities under the Istanbul Process. We are also pursuing our greater regional economic co-operation agenda through RECCA aimed at reviving the historical role of Afghanistan as a regional land-bridge facilitating, the flow of people, goods and investments across the region and beyond.

Mr. Chairman,

We highly value our present partnership with the OSCE. Since 2003, this partnership has been continuously expanded and Afghanistan has greatly benefited from its engagement with the organization including from the projects approved in two ministerial decisions made in 2007 and 2011 respectively. These projects cover all three dimensions of security and include areas such as border security and management, training for law enforcement, customs and counter narcotics officers, cross border trade facilitation, economic development, electoral support and good governance, water management, anti-trafficking and freedom of media.

Let me commend here the work of the OSCE Academy in Bishkek, the Border Management Staff College in Dushanbe, the Advanced Training Institute in Domodedovo as well as the OSCE Centre in Bishkek and the OSCE Office in Tajikistan in implementing most of these projects. I would also like to express our appreciation to all those participating States and Partners for Co-operation that have provided financial support to the implementation of these projects. I also wish to thank the OSCE for deploying its election support teams to Afghanistan over the past ten years including for the 2014 election. My Government will make good use of the recommendations made in this regard. I am pleased to inform you that our Electoral Reforms Commission has been working hard over the past few months and has recently submitted its first set of recommendations to the government.

As we are embarking on the Decade of Transformation, and in the light of the specific needs associated with this important period, we look forward to further deepening and strengthening our partnership with the organization.

In conclusion, while we appreciate once again the special attention placed on Afghanistan by the Serbian Chairmanship during this year, we hope that engagement with Afghanistan will remain a priority on the OSCE’s agenda under the incoming German chairmanship. In this context, we are ready to work closely with the organization to explore additional areas of co-operation with the OSCE.
Thank you

H.E. Minister Azimi and Deputy Minister Ahmadi attend high level meetings in Vienna

pic 1

Vienna, 18.12.2015

H.E. Mrs. Salamat Azimi, Minister of Counter Narcotics of Afghanistan, along with Deputy Minister Baz Mohammad Ahmadi of the Ministry of Interior of Afghanistan and the delegation, attended several keys meetings in Vienna from December 14 – 18, 2015. On Monday, December 14, H.E. Minister Azimi and the delegation participated in the High-Level Meeting of Partners for Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries. The meeting was aimed at presenting strategic directives on counter narcotics efforts in Afghanistan and neighboring countries as well as perspectives from the region and international partners on how to further coordinate and strengthen such efforts in the future. Minister Azimi as co-chair of the meeting, delivered an opening statement focusing on the new National Drug Action Plan of Afghanistan. Other co-chairs were Mr. Yury Fedotov, UNODC Executive Director, and Mr. Nicholas Haysom, UN Special Representative of the Secretary General for Afghanistan and Head of UNAMA. H.E. Minister Azimi also had a short statement at the Closing Session of the High-level Meeting which was moderated by Mr. Hassan Soroosh, Counselor of the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in Vienna. Another member of the delegation, Ms. Fareshta Sakhi, Director General of Border Affairs and Security Cooperation of MOFA read out the Concluding Statement on behalf of the co-chairs.

pic 2

From December 15 – 16, the delegation of Afghanistan attended the Paris Pact 12th Policy Consultative Group Meeting where H.E. Minister Azimi delivered an opening statement which included an overview of the efforts and achievements made in counter narcotics as well as the challenges that Afghanistan is facing in this area. Deputy Minister Ahmadi delivered a closing statement on the second and final day of the Paris Pact meeting on December 16 and provided a detailed overview of law enforcement measures related to counter narcotics and highlighted a number of key achievements and challenges along with concrete operational recommendations. Mr. Humayoun Faizzad, Director General of Provincial Affairs at the Ministry of Counter Narcotics of Afghanistan also had a presentation on the new National Drug Action Plan of Afghanistan.

During the course of the week, bilateral meetings were held between the delegation of Afghanistan and the delegations of Germany, Iran, Turkey and the United States of America, where the prospects of counter narcotics efforts in Afghanistan including under the new Action Plan as well as ways to support these efforts at all bilateral, regional and international levels was discussed. The delegation also had a brief meeting with the chair of the UNGASS Board discussing the preparatory process as well as topics to be discussed during the Special Session in 2016.

The delegation of Afghanistan also met with the UNODC Executive Director where the new Country Program for Afghanistan was signed. The visit was concluded with a meeting between the delegation of Afghanistan and the OSCE Secretary General Ambassador Zannier as an opportunity to discuss the prospect of the OSCE-Afghanistan partnership.

 – E N D –

Director General for Border Affairs and Security Cooperation addresses OSCE’s Security Committee

Vienna, 18.12.2015

Ms. Farishta Sakhi, the Director General for Border Affairs and Security Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan delivered a presentation at this week’s Security Committee of the OSCE. Ms. Sakhi discussed the implications of political and security transitions in Afghanistan and briefed participants about the reform agenda of the National Unity Government and shared her views regarding the latest developments concerning the Resolute Support Mission and the Government’s response to current and emerging security threats. The Director General also briefed the committee about renewed efforts toward peace and reconciliation, while highlighting the regional dimension of the security architecture. Ms. Sakhi highlighted the importance of Afghanistan’s collaboration with the OSCE for the past twelve years, including in the area of border affairs and security cooperation and shared her perspective of areas that can be further expanded under this partnership in view of the needs and priorities associated with the Decade of Transformation. Afghanistan has been an OSCE Partner for Co-operation since 2003.

In closing, Ms. Sakhi thanked the OSCE and all donors for both implementation of the projects and programmes and generous contributions provided, and looked ahead to next year’s Warsaw NATO Summit as well as the international conference on Afghanistan in Brussels, to be held in July and October, respectively. Ms. Sakhi visited Vienna as a member of a ministerial delegation attending high-level meetings at UNODC.

 – E N D –

Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai Attends the 22nd Meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Belgrade

mc photo

Belgrade, 04.12.2015

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hekmat Khalil Karzai, attended the 22nd Meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Belgrade from 3-4 December 2015. In his statement at the plenary, Deputy Minister Karzai shared an overview of the ongoing efforts and processes in Afghanistan as well as the Afghan perspective of the security challenges facing the country and the wider OSCE region. Deputy Minister Karzai highlighted the relevance of the OSCE’s vision and goals in today’s security environment. His statement also included an overview of Afghanistan’s regional cooperation agenda under the Heart of Asia Process and RECCA as well as Afghanistan’s engagement with the OSCE, focusing on areas of cooperation that can be further expanded in the future. Deputy Minister Karzai also had a statement at the Meeting of the OSCE Troika with the OSCE Asian Partners and shared the Afghan perspective of ways to strengthen partnership between the OSCE and the Asia Partners for Cooperation.  In this context, he highlighted the importance of greater cooperation and coordination between the OSCE and the two Afghanistan-focused regional cooperation frameworks: the Istanbul-Heart of Asian Process and RECCA. During his two-day visit to Belgrade, Deputy Minister Karzai also had bilateral meetings with the heads of delegation of Norway, Thailand, Moldova, Mongolia, the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Foreign Minister and First Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, where they discussed the prospects of bilateral relations and the need for exploring new areas of cooperation at a bilateral level. Also discussed during these meetings was the need for enhanced regional and international cooperation in addressing transnational security threats. Deputy Minister Karzai also had a meeting with the OSCE Secretary General and discussed with him various aspects of the OSCE’s engagement with Afghanistan and ways to expand the present partnership between the two parties. Deputy Minister Karzai expressed hope that engagement with Afghanistan will remain a key priority of the OSCE’s agenda in the coming years.

– E N D –

Statement by the Delegation of Afghanistan at the OSCE Special Permanent Council Meeting on recent terrorist attacks in Paris

Thank you Mr. Chairman,

On behalf of the Delegation of Afghanistan, I would like to express our deepest sympathy and condolences to the government and people of France over the recent terrorist attacks in Paris that claimed the lives of many innocent people and injured many others. As a prime victim of terrorism, the people of Afghanistan feel the pain of the People of France and share their grief at this difficult time.

As stated in a statement by H.E.  President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani:

“The barbaric and indiscriminate killing of innocent citizens in Paris is virtually horrible and demonstrates the fact that the terrorists are the enemies of humanity and do not recognize any border,”

Another statement by H.E. Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah reads:

“These terrorist attacks against humanity indicate that the terrorists do not know any boundary, religion and nation. They always try to cause tragedy, fear and horror among the nations.”

Mr. Chairman,

Such terrorist attacks once again remind us of the need for sustained and collective actions at all levels in fighting terrorism as well as the need for supporting countries that are in the front line of fighting this menace.