Monday, April 21, 2014

Foreign Minister Rassoul Meets with Danish, Norwegian and Croatian Counterparts

Foreign Minister Dr. Zalmai Rassoul today continued his bilateral meetings with a number of senior UN officials and counterparts along the sidelines of the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Earlier today, he met separately with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Norway and Croatia at UN Headquarters.

During his meetings Foreign Minister Rassoul briefed his Danish, Norwegian and Croatian counterparts on the recent parliamentary elections, Afghanistan’s reintegration and reconciliation efforts, and national strategy towards Afghanization of the security, development and governance process.

Foreign Minister Rassoul noted that the recent elections were “a great success towards consolidation of democracy” in Afghanistan. He asserted that despite a difficult security situation, the elections saw wide-participation from all ethnic groups and segments of society. In that regard, he particularly highlighted the unprecedented number of women candidates and voters.

Foreign Minister Rassoul discussed Afghanistan’s reintegration and reconciliation initiative. He informed his counterparts on the establishment of the “High Peace Council,” which is working to implement the peace-jirga’s recommendations.

Moreover, he informed his counterparts of the recently established “Transition Committee,” which is working to ensure Afghanistan’s self-reliance in the areas of security, development and governance.

The Foreign Ministers of Denmark, Norway and Croatia praised Afghans for their courage and determination in going to polls and taking part in the elections in a difficult security environment.  Moreover, they expressed the continued commitment of their governments to ensuring Afghanistan’s security and development.

Additionally, the Foreign Minister of Denmark invited Foreign Minister Rassoul to pay an official visit to Copenhagen in November of this year to meet with senior Danish officials, and deliver a speech at the Danish parliament.

H.E. Dr. Zalmai Rassoul and Secretary General Ban Ki Moon

Secretary-Genral Ban Ki-moon (right) meets with H.E. Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Rassoul Meets UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon

Foreign Minister Rassoul Meets UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon

Foreign Minister Dr. Zalmai Rassoul today met with the United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon.  The meeting took place at the United Nations Headquarters, along the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

The two sides discussed Afghanistan and regional cooperation at length, focusing on recent parliamentary elections, the outcome of the Kabul Conference, Afghanistan’s reconciliation initiative and regional cooperation.

At the outset, Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon welcomed the holding of recent parliamentary elections, and praised the courage and determination of Afghans in going to polls, despite a difficult security situation.

On elections, Foreign Minister Rassoul noted that the recent elections “reaffirmed the enthusiasm and determination of the Afghan people to the democratic process.” He said that the final results of the polls would be announced in due time, following a review by the relevant legal channels, including the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC).

Referring to the issue of reconciliation, Foreign Minister Rassoul informed the Secretary General of the establishment of the “High Peace Council,” which is mandated to monitor the implementation of the recommendations, adopted at the conclusion of the national consultative peace-jirgah. He also stressed that reconciliation was an option only for armed opposition who meet the stated pre-conditions: surrendering of arms, renunciation of violence and return to normal life.

Moreover, he also alluded to the establishment of the “Transition Committee,” which is working towards ensuring Afghanistan’s leadership and self-sufficiency in all affairs of state, including security, development and governance.

On regional cooperation, Foreign Minister Rassoul underscored an effective regional approach for solving the security problem in Afghanistan and the region.

Foreign Minister Rassoul also expressed Afghanistan’s appreciation for the continued support and assistance of the United Nations for lasting peace, security and stability in Afghanistan.