Monday, December 22, 2014

Foreign Minister Rassoul Discusses Afghanistan with NATO Secretary General

In New York for the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, and NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, met today to discuss security and stability in Afghanistan.

The NATO Secretary General first welcomed holding of Afghanistan’s recent parliamentary elections, in which Afghans from all walks of life went to polls and cast their vote.  He also expressed his organization’s continued commitment to security and stability in Afghanistan.
He said NATO member-states looked forward to the convening of the up-coming Summit meeting of the organization, which will meet in Lisbon.

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.