Kabul Conference for Good Neighbourly Relations

In the name of God

Distinguished Friends, Honorable guests,

it gives me great pleasure to welcome you all, our neighbors and friends from the international community, to Kabul today. It is your and our good fortune that we have a relatively sunny and not so cold day on the occasion of this important Conference held here to strengthen bonds of friendship and trust.

I am particularly happy to meet once again my esteemed counterparts from our brotherly neighboring countries, H.E. Said Kamal Kharrazi, the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who unfortunately was unable to reach Kabul this morning for technical reasons, is represented by a high-Level diplomatic advance team. With Iran we share history and culture. Our Iranian brothers are keen to see Afghanistan rebuilt and we appreciate their efforts in this regard.
I had the opportunity to meet H.E. Main Churched Mahmood Kasur, the new Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistani few days ago in Bonn and established a good initial understanding between the two sides. We are desirous to expand constructive relations with our brothers in Pakistan in all fields of mutual interest.

I also recently met my friends, H.E. Abdul-Aziz Kamila, the Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan, whose plane had to return to Tashkent this morning for technical reason and was unfortunately unable to make it to Kabul, and H.E. Talkback Makarov, the Foreign Minister of Tajikistan during visit to their respective countries. Our longstanding ties to both countries are strengthened and will be crucial for building bridges of co-operation through trade and other ventures.

I am also pleased to welcome H.E. Rashid Mere of, the Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan, with whom we share a long border and are engaged in important projects for the future that would benefit the whole region.

I recently traveled to the People’s Republic of China, and was reassured by my friend H.E. Foreign Minister Tang Jajuan of China’s continued support in all sectors for Afghanistan, and I am happy to see China’s special envoy, Ambassador Sun Yuri here with us.

The presence of high-ranking representatives to this Conference from our friends in Japan and the Russian Federation is a testimony to the importance that countries are attaching to Afghanistan’s revival, stability and reconstruction. These countries and others like the United States of America, our European friends, our brothers in the Islamic world and beyond have been instrumental in helping the Afghan people bring positive change to Afghanistan over the last year since the Bonn peace process started in Germany and led to the formation of a representative and legitimate Administration following a long period of darkness.

Afghanistan’s conditions prior to September 11, 2001 were not only detrimental for Afghanistan itself, but did not produce any benefit for anyone else either and became a danger to world peace and stability in our region. You have all stood by and assisted the Afghan people during these challenging times, and we appreciate your commitment to this country’s peace, security and reconstruction. We have many goals and aspirations that are shared and common among us.

Undoubtedly, through mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty, co-operation and constructive engagement can we attain those goals? It’s our responsibility to build a stable, peaceful and prosperous region, and your presence today in Kabul is another occasion to cement those ties and strengthen bonds of trust and friendship.

I now have the honor to call upon a visionary and a man of peace, H.E.Hamid Karzai, the President of the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan to address you in his opening speech.

Thank you.