STATEMENT BY H.E. SALAHUDDIN RABBANI MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF AFGHANISTAN AT THE FORTY-SECOND SESSION OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS OF OIC

(SESSION OF JOINT VISION TO STRENGHTEN TOLERANCE AND REJECT TERRORISM)

27 - 28 May, 2015
KUWAIT
بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

Excellency Shaikh Sabah Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah, Foreign Minister of the State of Kuwait,
Excellency, Secretary General,
Honorable Ministers
Distinguished Heads of Delegations, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wish to begin by thanking the Government of the State of Kuwait for its able leadership of our organization, and hosting the 42nd Session of the Council of Ministers.

I congratulate my esteemed brother and colleague, Foreign Minister Al Sabah on his Chairmanship of the council, and we assure him of our full support and cooperation.

Let me also thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and, in particular, His Highness Prince Saud Al-Faisal (Former Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia) for hosting and chairing the 41st session of the OIC Council of Ministers in Jeddah in June 2014.

Mr. Chairman,
Afghanistan welcomes the theme designated for our discussion: “Joint Vision to Strengthen Tolerance, and Reject Terrorism.” The past year has seen an upsurge in terrorist attacks, with the emergence of new extremist groups that have expanded their presence from the North Africa, the Middle East, to south Asia.

These radical groups have launched a vicious cycle of violence and brutality, resulting in mass killings and persecution, mainly of our fellow brothers and sisters in Islamic countries.

As His Excellency President Ghani said (and I quote): "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."

We must re-double our efforts combat terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations. We need to collaborate closer and pursue a holistic approach pillared on: ending financial and logistical support at their disposal; countering terrorist ideology and radicalization; and empowering our youth to prevent their radicalization.

Mr. Chairman,
As a prime victim of terrorism, Afghanistan fully empathizes with the sufferings of our brothers and sisters in the Muslim Ummah. The overall situation in the Middle East and elsewhere in the Muslim World continues to remain critical, demanding our urgent attention.

Afghanistan reaffirms its call for the realization of the full rights of the Palestinian people including their right to an Independent Palestinian State. In Syria, we call for an immediate end to the conflict in that country, and a political solution to the conflict that meets the aspirations of the people of Syria.

We also share our deep concern about the dire humanitarian situation facing the Rohingya community in Myanmar. In that regard, we underscore the implementation of the recommendations of the 14 April 2013 OIC Contact Group Meeting in Jeddah.

The prevailing situation in Yemen is of grave concern to all of us. We call for a political resolution to the conflict in Yemen that secures political stability and sustainable peace for all Yemenis.

Mr. Chairman,
Let me now turn to the situation in my own country, Afghanistan. 2014 marked a critically important year in our stabilization efforts. With the successful conclusion of the security and political transitions, Afghanistan turned the corner in our path to becoming a self-reliant nation.

Our people defied a dangerous security environment to participate in Presidential elections, in 2014. They fulfilled their national duty in coming together to preserve Afghanistan’s national interests.

To this effect, the formation of the National Unity Government has heralded a new phase in our nation’s political life. 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.

Mr. Chairman,
We are grateful for the OIC’s affirmation of continued support for Afghanistan’s stability and development, as manifested in the various resolutions of the OIC Council of Ministers, as well as during the visit of H.E. Secretary General Madani, early this year, to Kabul.

We very much look forward to deeper and broader cooperation with the OIC.  We look to OIC member-states to continue supporting our efforts for a peaceful, stable and democratic Afghanistan. I thank you for your attention!