Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan met with the Australian Foreign Minister.
Foreign Minister Rassoul and Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd met this morning at the UN Headquarters, along the sidelines of the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed a number of issues, including the situation in Afghanistan; the fight against terrorism, Afghanistan-Australia bilateral relations; and regional cooperation.
The Australian Foreign Minister expressed his government continued commitment to Afghanistan success, highlighting assistance in various areas, including training of the Afghan national army and police; and capacity building of Afghan civil servants, and construction educational facilities, clinics and health-centers.
Foreign Minister Rassoul thanked Foreign Minister Rudd for Australia’s contribution to the effort in improving security and advancing socio-economic development in Afghanistan.
Moreover, Foreign Minister Rassoul briefed Foreign Minister Rudd on the recent Afghan parliamentary elections; Afghanistan’s reconciliation initiative, and the national strategy for a successful transition towards self-sufficiency and self-reliance in the areas of security, development and governance.
On elections, Foreign Rassoul said the recent polls “illustrate the firm determination and enthusiasm of the Afghan people to the democratic process in their country.” In that regard, he said despite a difficult security situation, the elections were held successfully, and with the participation of all segments of Afghan society.
And on regional cooperation, the two-sides stressed the importance of Afghanistan-Pakistan bilateral cooperation, and an effective regional strategy for defeating terrorism and achieving lasting peace in the country.
Foreign Minister Rassoul also reaffirmed Afghanistan’s commitment in meeting the outcomes of the London and Kabul Conferences.
On the second day of his official visit in New York for the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Foreign Minister Rassoul today meet with his Montenegrin counterpart, Milan Rocen, to sign a Protocol on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Republic of Montenegro.
At the signing ceremony, which was held at the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations, the two sides welcomed the establishment of diplomatic relations as an important step in strengthening of ties between the peoples and governments of Afghanistan and Montenegro. Both sides also expressed their commitment to expand cooperation in a number of areas.
The Montenegrin Foreign Minister noted that, despite challenges, Afghanistan had come a long way towards becoming a peaceful and prosperous country. He also reaffirmed the continued commitment of his government to Afghanistan in the years ahead, and highlighted in that regard, the start of the second term of duty of Montenegrin forces serving as part of ISAF.
Foreign Minister Rassoul also expressed Afghanistan’s appreciation for Montenegro’s support for security and development in Afghanistan. In that regard, he highlighted the important role being rendered by the contingent of Montenegrin forces serving in the country. Moreover, he expressed hope for Montenegro’s increased assistance for Afghanistan’s development.
The Montenegrin Foreign Minister invited Foreign Minister Rassoul to pay an official visit to Montenegro in the near future. Foreign Minister Rassoul thanked his Montenegrin counterpart for the invitation, and expressed his approval to visit Podgorica in the months ahead.
Following the signing ceremony Foreign Minister Rassoul held a meeting with Turkmenistan’s Foreign Minister, during which the two sides discussed the situation in Afghanistan, regional cooperation and strengthening of bilateral relations in a number of areas.
Later in the day Foreign Minister Rassoul will also meet with the Foreign Minister of Japan, the newly appointed Executive Director of UNODC, and the Assistant US Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration Affairs.
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