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Lajčák on behalf of the EU at the conference on Afghanistan stabilization

Lajčák on behalf of the EU at the conference on Afghanistan stabilization

4.12.2016 | Aktivity ministra |

Amritsar (4 December) – “Only a peace process led and owned by Afghans themselves can lead to a lasting peace in Afghanistan.“ This was said by Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic Miroslav Lajčák, attending the ministerial Heart of Asia conference in the Indian city of Amritsar devoted to the support and stabilization of Afghanistan on Sunday, on behalf of the European Union as the representative of the country presiding in the Council of the EU.


 
“Afghanistan should have had a chance to find its own way out without outside interference in this process. Primary responsibility in creating conditions for conflict-solving must be borne by Afghan stakeholders,” stated Minister Lajčák.


 
Minister Lajčák gave an address at the conference within the EU joint statement in which he highlighted that continuation of the international support for Afghanistan is key for the sustainable development in the country and the follow-up to the positive results of the existing activities of the international community.


 
He recalled that the conference in Amritsar was held two months after the Brussels conference on Afghanistan, wherein 75 countries and 26 international organizations jointly declared their support for Afghanistan in stopping the violence and restoring the economy. 


 
“The Brussels conference generated significant financial pledges and recorded unprecedented engagement of regional partners. This should be further developed by the forums such as Heart of Asia and meld it into practical assistance in promoting plans of the Afghan Government for self-reliance and better economic cooperation in the region,” stressed Minister Lajčák.


 
In the context of the efforts for stabilization of the security and economic situation in Afghanistan, the participants of the weekend conference in Amritsar, India, also delved into migration and the fight against terrorism – two important factors influencing the peace process.


 
 “The Heart of Asia conference can help alleviate the migration pressures through improving the economic situation in the region. If people are offered hope for a better life, they will be motivated to return to the country and become engaged in the work on its stabilization and development,” stated Minister Lajčák. He also pointed to the need for a wider regional cooperation in countering terrorism. “If anything really reunites this region, it is the threat of terrorism. Many countries would be able to achieve more in fighting terrorism if they cooperated each other more intensively,” stated Minister Lajčák.


 
The Heart of Asia conference in Amritsar was opened by Prime Minister of India Nárendra Módi together with Afghan President Ashraf Ghaní as a guest of honor participating in this event. The talks were led by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan Salahuddin Rabbani and by Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley on behalf of the organizer. 


 
In the final declaration stemming from the Amritsar meeting, the participants pledged to contribute to building trust and security and jointly support the Afghan security forces in fighting extremists and terrorists. 

 

Minister Lajčák represented the EU on the authority of EU High Commissioner for Foreign Policy Federica Mogherini, as the representative of the country presiding the Council of the EU, being accompanied by EU Special Envoy for Afghanistan Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin at the conference. On the sidelines, Minister Lajčák held several bilateral talks with counterparts from participating countries of Central and South Asian region.


 
The Heart of Asia ministerial conference is the only regional forum for political process in Afghanistan with participation of its neighbors, following up on the Istanbul Process providing scope for regional cooperation in favor of development and stability of the South Asia region since 2011, with representatives of 14 countries including India, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, China and Russia in attendance. EU belongs among its observers and active supporters.