By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba believes that the time has come to open a new page in relations between Ukraine and Afghanistan, the ministry’s press service reports.
As part of the implementation of the Asian strategy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Kuleba had a phone conversation with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Haneef Atmar. This was the first contact between the Ukrainian and Afghan foreign ministers since 2008.
“Ukraine and Afghanistan are united by long-term friendship and mutual respect. Ukrainians support Afghans in their efforts to restore peace in the country and build an inclusive society. The time has come to open a new page in bilateral relations for the benefit of our peoples,” Kuleba stressed.
In turn, Atmar supported Kuleba’s proposal to hold consultations between the Foreign Ministries this year in order to discuss practical steps for the development of cooperation between Ukraine and Afghanistan in the political, trade, security and educational spheres.
The ministers noted the significant opportunities for the participation of Ukrainian companies in the implementation of infrastructure projects in Afghanistan, in particular in the regions affected by the armed conflict.
“Last year, trade between Ukraine and Afghanistan amounted to USD 7.17 million. This figure absolutely does not correspond to the potential of the two countries. We should jointly make sure that the volume of trade increases significantly in several years,” Kuleba said.
He also named other priority areas of cooperation, namely: military-technical cooperation, study of Afghan students in Ukraine, and the supply of Ukrainian food products to ensure food security in Afghanistan.
A separate topic of conversation was Iran’s downing of Ukrainian PS752. “The interlocutors agreed that the ultimate goal of the efforts should be to ensure justice in relation to the victims of the tragedy and their relatives, regardless of nationality, and to prevent the repetition of such a crime in the future,” the report reads.
The ministers also discussed cooperation between Ukraine and Afghanistan within the framework of international organizations, in particular the UN.
In conclusion, Kuleba and Atmar shared invitations to exchange visits at a convenient time.
As Ukrinform reported, Afghanistan will continue to play an important role in the International Coordination and
Response Group for Victims of Flight PS752 but will not be directly involved in future negotiations.