Remarks by Ahmad Shekib Mostaghni Spokesman and Director General of Communication of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Press Conference on Moscow Regional Consultations on Afghanistan

April 15, 2017 - GMIC, Kabul, Afghanistan

On April 14, 2017, Afghanistan joined Russia, China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan to participate in a meeting of regional consultations hosted by the Russian Federation in Moscow.

The expanded meeting of eleven nations built on the discussions of the early gathering, reiterating that any peace process should be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned and that the countries of the region must support the Government of Afghanistan in its quest for sustainable peace.

The discussion also highlighted regional concern about the multiplicity of security threats—including terrorism, radicalism, and criminality (drug production and trafficking)—which undermine Afghanistan’s stabilization and sustainable development with negative security and economic implications for the whole region and the rest of the world. 

In order for Afghanistan to further institutionalize its hard-earned gains of the past 16 years, the Afghan delegation noted the importance of consistent efforts by the Government of Afghanistan to achieve peace through a political dialogue with all Afghan armed groups, including the Taliban, provided that they accept Afghanistan’s basic conditions for reaching a genuine, sustainable peace.

Afghan delegation underlined the following key principles to help guide ongoing regional efforts in support of Afghanistan:

  1. First, there is no substitute for state-to-state cooperation, which must underpin all regional efforts to help the Government of Afghanistan reach peace with those Afghan armed groups, including the Taliban, who are genuinely willing to enter an irreversible political settlement.
  2. Second, sincere regional cooperation is essential for ensuring that joint peace efforts will bear the results Afghanistan and the region ultimately seek. And that means an end to the suffering of the Afghan people that would enable them to further consolidate our hard-earned gains of the past 16 years, in continued partnership with the international community.
  3. Third, regional consensus on the long-term stabilization of Afghanistan as a common good is emerging. This must continue to evolve and translate into concrete steps to be taken by each of the regional and global stakeholders, in support of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.
  4. Fourth, Afghanistan rejects duplicity and selectivity in defining terrorism. This means that regional counter-terrorism efforts must mirror those of national counter-terrorism action plans adopted for implementation by Afghanistan’s neighbors, including Pakistan. 

A majority of the country-participants agreed with the Afghan position: That the region should reach to a concrete consensus on Afghanistan and send a strong message to the Taliban that the way forward is dialogue and not violence. Afghanistan offered to host the next round of regional consultations in Kabul, which most of the country-participants welcomed and agreed to participate. The dates of the Kabul meeting would be announced and communicated to all invitees.

Mr. M. Ashraf Haidari, Director-General of Policy & Strategy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, lead the Afghan delegation.