Speech by Mawlawi Amir Muttaqi, Minister of Foreign Affairs at Conference on Afghanistan in Tashkent

Place: Uzbekistan
Date: 26-27 July, 2022

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate

Honorable participants, hosts and guests,

Warm greetings to all,

To begin, allow me to express my heartfelt gratitute to Afghanistan’s friend and neighbor, government of the Republic of Uzbekistan, for hosting and inviting esteemed representatives of countries. Afghanistan and Uzbekistan have very friendly and close historic relations, and this bond between both peoples has been strengthened by our common religion, heritage and language.

Excellencies,

It has been eleven months since the August 15th political change, and announcement of a new government in Afghanistan. During this short period, our government has had invaluable achievements. The new government managed to establish security, revive the security sector, maintain government infrastructure and personnel, continue providing basic services to citizens, for the first time ever declare a national budget purely reliant on state revenues, uproot corruption and assure objective inclusivity.

Our leader laid the foundation for a culture of tolerance and acceptance during periods of Afghan political transition via a general amnesty for all political and military opposition, and ended the disastrous four-decade tradition of revenge. Not only was a general amnesty enforced, but workers from the previous administration continue work in mid-level all the way up to director and deputy minister positions. We have not dismissed anyone for holding differing political views, and this conduct is a first in the history of Afghan political changes.

We restored Afghan security institutes, recruited up towards a hundred thousand youth to the national army and up towards one hundred and eighty thousand to the national police. The prevalent security is the result of efforts of these same committed and professional security officials and forces.

And in order to prevent presence of individuals in our security forces that could potentially harm our own as well neighboring and international security, we have begun a biometric registration process of all security personnel, making much progress so far.

The Islamic Emirate has created a contact group for return of former political figures at Prime Minister’s Political Deputy level where majority members are state Ministers. Due to the blessing of this initiative, a number of former senior and junior officials of the previous administration have returned to their country in a short period and are currently residing in their homeland. This process has even allowed return of our former military opposition whom now enjoy normal lives. We in reality opened a new phase of engagement with our former political and military rivals. Even now, tens of known figures contact this group daily, seeking a return to their homeland. The Islamic Emirate believes that Afghanistan is the shared home of Afghans and all have a right to a dignified life in their homeland.

Excellencies,

The fact is that our country has been devastated by a two-decade conflict and our economic system crushed under US sanctions, combining as the main drivers of poverty. These actions have not only hampered foreign investment and financial transactions, but also impacted government activities which purely benefit the general public.

But despite these challenges, our government has managed to provide education, health, economic and other services within its capacity. After a long delay, we successfully reopened doors of universities where hundreds of thousands of students are currently attaining higher education. Moreover, schools have been opened on a large scale across the country where the government is providing all necessary services. We have added thousands of jobs to the education sector and announced seven thousand new vacancies.

Similarly, women continue to work in education, health and other government departments in a reassuring atmosphere. In some areas where proper environment has not yet been established, women are getting paid salaries in their homes.

Excellencies,

Following decades of instability, our government has firm determination to transform Afghanistan into the center of peace, stability and economic cooperation. We seek stability for both us and the world. Stability in Afghanistan not only guarantees stability in the entire region, but Afghan stability is a key cog for regional economic prosperity and development. A fundamental pillar of our new foreign policy is economic centralism. The time has come for Afghanistan to practically transform into the crossroad of Asia. Reliable security, serious political will and transparent administrative structure are elements conducive for achieving this end. Afghanistan is the closest and cheapest trade route between Central and South Asia.

We have made a commitment with the international community in the Doha Agreement that no group or individual will be allowed to use the soil of Afghanistan against another country. The first article of the second part of the agreement states: “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan will not allow any of its own members or any other individual or group, including Al Qaeda, to pose a threat to the security of others from the soil of Afghanistan.”

Availing this opportunity I would like to clarify that we view regional and world security interconnected with the security of Afghanistan. Therefore, we remain cognizant of all our security responsibilities. Our expectation from the region and the world is to not hold back their efforts and assitance in realizing Afghan security. We also expect the United States to fulfill their part of the commitments made in the first part of the Doha Agreement.

Our military policy towards those disrupting security is clear and we have demonstrated it through our actions over the last year. Our defense and security forces have made good progress against Daesh. Following failed efforts to disrupt security on Uzbekistan border in recent months, our security forces launched operations against the perpetrators — killing some and detaining others. We will not allow Daesh or any other group to use the territory of Afghanistan against another country.

Excellencies,

We stand ready to establish positive relations with all world countries in the framework of mutual respect and legitimate bilateral interests. And we also call on world countries to fulfill their responsibilities in this regard. We urge the United States of America to unconditionally release all reserves of the Afghan central bank and lift all economic santions on Afghanistan. This is a fundamental step towards normalization of relations, and this action will have a positive impact on the mindset of Afghans vis-a-vis America.

We also call on other world countries to begin official engagement with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to secure long-term legitimate bilateral interests.

The strategic location, vast natural resources, and availability of diligent and affordable manpower in Afghanistan under the shade of reliable security and sincere political determination is an excellent investment opportunity. This opportunity has no limitations except for our national sovereignty and legitimate interests.

It is now time for the world to invest in Afghan stability instead of insecurity and destabilization. Stability is in the interest of everyone, and instability detrimental for all.

Thank you for your attention.

Wishing all a pleasant day.

MFA _Afghanistan

Read Previous

Today, IEA delegation led by FM Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi met in Tashkent with Acting FM of Uzbekistan Vladimir Norov.

Read Next

IEA Foreign Minister Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi met in a bilateral in Tashkent with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, yesterday evening.

Leave a Reply