By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: The 9th Heart of Asia Conference – The Istanbul Process, entitled “Strengthening Consensus for Peace and Development”, was held in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, the Presidential Press Office said Tuesday.
The President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, Tajik Leader Emomali Rahmon and representatives of the member countries and international organizations attended the conference. At the outset, President Emomali Rahmon spoke and welcomed President Ghani and other participants, saying that we are always in favor of peace and stability in Afghanistan, the presidential palace said in a statement.
“Peace and stability in the region depends on the peace and stability of Afghanistan,” the neighboring country’s president said.
“The Tajik leader noted that the people of Afghanistan were the source of concern to all of us due to the imposed war, caused by foreign interference,” said the Tajik president, adding that the regional countries should not leave Afghanistan alone in this respect. Noting that the common traditional borders connect the countries of the region, Rahmon assured that they were strongly determined to strengthen the quality of our cooperation in various fields with Afghanistan.
He expressed his country’s cooperation for the growth of trade and transit in Afghanistan, and said that Tajikistan is ready to train Afghan specialists in various fields.
Meantime, the country’s President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani thanked President Emomali Rahmon for hosting the conference and ministers and heads of the participating delegations, and said that Afghanistan and Tajikistan relations were based on mutual interests, mutual respect and trust, support and hospitality, according to the statement.
“I am grateful to be awarded an honorary doctorate,” the President thanked. The country’s president added that the borders between Afghanistan and Tajikistan should be transformed into open borders and cooperation as an example of mutual cooperation, and that our plans should bring prosperity to the people of the two countries and the region, the statement quoted. President Ghani noted that Afghanistan plays its role as the crossroads of Asia and the crossroads of the continent. He also reminded of the problems of terrorism, drugs and environmental changes, and said that we should work together to strengthen the relations between the people of the region more than before. “The Government of Afghanistan is ready to cooperate in launching and implementing regional projects, and with the help of Allah, we will overcome violence and terrorism, and we will achieve a dignified and lasting peace and stability,” the statement quoted him as saying.
President Ghani thanked the efforts of regional countries, international partners and organizations in restoration of peace in Afghanistan and said that ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan is “as important to all of us as oxygen” and added that peace was not only our desire, but also our urgent need, and that the beginning of our rule was a priority.
President Ghani said that the Afghan people have not achieved their right to peace for 42 years. I can not express in words the suffering of the people and my security and defense forces who sacrifice every day for the sake of the homeland, the President continued as quoted by the statement.
According to the statement, continuation of war and violence is against our interests and we must get rid of it.” To conclude with, the country’s president said that the people of Afghanistan were hopeful for their future, we do not lose hope, and that the Afghan government and international partners have a common understanding of peace, and that peace and stability will be ensured in Afghanistan.