Brief of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani’s Remarks on the 18th Occasion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

10 Jun 2018

June 10, 2018

The space of SCO, is experiencing one of those rare “open moments” of history, that a regional cooperation strategy can expand it to a continues opportunity. Such a strategy, by necessity, will require a change of perspective on the potential and problems of Afghanistan.

Despite the immense cost by the imposed conflict, from five direction the prospects of people for becoming Afghanistan a platform for cooperation and connectivity are significantly approving.
First, suggestion of our comprehensive and unconditional offer of peace, reasons of Afghanistan’s Ulema to cease the conflict, and accepting of ceasefire by the Taliban during the Eid days, is the window for moving forward with Intra-Afghan peace talks.

Second, international partners through the US South Asia Strategy, Resolute Support Mission and supporting of Brussels Conference, and all of friends around the table have determined support to Afghanistan.

Third, we are witnessing the emergence of a regional consensus on the need for a stable and connected Afghanistan. That the Tashkent Conference on Peace, China & India agreement on Afghanistan issue, development of our bilateral dialogue with Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, comprehensive dialogue with Iran and a framework agreement called APAPPS (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity) signed is the samples of that.

Fourth, our agenda of regional connectivity is making real progress. Development of three dry ports linked with railways, railways for connectivity of Chah-Bahar, Balkh-Herat railways, reaching of TAPI to Afghanistan borders, CASA-1000 is becoming a reality, significant private sector investment on energy and fiber optics, regional transit agreements and speed in expanding of air corridor, all are visible.

Fifth, we are accelerating the implementation of a comprehensive agenda of reform and transferring authority and power to a capable dynamic group of young and in implementation of anti-corruption strategy we have real progress, We are committed to holding parliamentary elections in 2018 and Presidential elections in 2019.

Our progresses are real but it is facing with difficulties of terrorism and narcotic drugs that with these two evils should be confronted coherently, comprehensively and cooperatively.

Creation of a narrative of cooperation on the basis of win-win conception of Afghanistan as a platform of regional connectivity and cooperation, is the first step and then utilization of Shanghai spirit to create the necessary action plans for regional cooperation. Afghanistan is poised to function as an Asian Roundabout. It is not aid, but market access, transit investment and regional cooperation that we seek to assume our rightful place in the rank of developmental states and countries and serve as an anchor of international and regional stability.