11/10/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/10/2020 08:36
President Ashraf Ghani participated and delivered his remarks at virtual meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization this afternoon.
President Vladimir Putin of Russia who was chairing the session delivered the opening remarks and said the SCO meeting is held at a time when all the member states and observers are dealing with the challenges and effects of covid-19.
President Ashraf Ghani extended gratitude to President Vladimir Putin of Russia for focusing attention on strengthening and further development of cooperation within the framework of the SCO to overcome Covid-19 and other threats.
'SCO has a unique opportunity to accelerate the transformation of Euro-Asia into a continental economy through economic, political, and security cooperation,' said the president.
President Ashraf Ghani attached importance to the location of Afghanistan and said that Afghanistan is right at the center of the untapped potential that could bring enhanced prosperity and peace to the region.
'We, the people and government of Afghanistan, have chosen to overcome the past. Your consensus, distinguished leaders, to support the quest of the Afghan people to achieve peace and prosperity within the constitutional framework of our Islamic Republic will have positive consequences not only for us, but also for the realization of the Euro-Asian open moment in history,' added President Ghani.
President Ashraf Ghani extended gratitude to the regional and international countries and organizations for their support for Afghanistan during the spread of coronavirus and underlined that mutual interest, respect and trust will enable all to achieve the end state of a sovereign, united, peaceful and democratic Afghanistan, capable of expanding the gains of the past 19 years.
President Ghani said, 'We are living, and dying, inside the 5th wave of global terrorism, in which global terrorist networks are closely linked with global criminal organizations - particularly drug and human traffickers-making warfare totally unconventional and peace-building even more challenging.'
The President expressed Afghanistan's willingness to expand cooperation with SCO members and observers in counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics, adding that state to state cooperation within a regional and global framework are key to dealing with all terrorist networks attempting to disrupt peace, progress and cooperation.
President Ashraf Ghani said, 'Though we are facing multiple forms of turmoil, peace remains our most urgent and important priority. As a state and society, we have demonstrated the commitment, compassion and courage to make hard decisions to start direct talks and negotiations with the Taliban.'
'Unfortunately, not only the promised reduction of violence and comprehensive ceasefire has not been realized, but the violence by the Taliban has increased substantially,' added the president.
President Ghani asked the SCO members and observers to support a sustainable peace process within the framework of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
'A strong consensus within the SCO will enable us to reach to an agreement on the process of making peace,' said President Ghani while asking the SCO members and observers to harness the Shanghai spirit to overcome the tragic past and create the future of cooperation together.