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President Ghani Attended SAARC Summit

November 25, 2014

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, leaded a high-ranking state delegation to attend the 18th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) at Nepal's Capital-Kathmandu.

During his three-day visit, besides delivering speech and participation at the SAARC summit, President Ghani met separately with the President, Prime Minister and some other Nepalese officials, as well as with a number of heads of SAARC member states, where discussions and exchange of views focused on ways to enhance regional cooperation.

President Ghani in his speech elaborate that "Deeper integration within SAARC requires honesty in facing the various degrees of hostility, now covert and now overt, between and among our countries and making genuine commitment to address the root causes of violence within and across our countries and forging instruments of cooperation to bring lasting peace to our people and societies. The humane and tolerant values of our civilizations and religions should enable us to articulate visions of inclusion and participation to the poor and the excluded from within our cultural discourses to heal the wounds of conflict."

President further stated, "Located as we are in the heart of Asia, we, in Afghanistan, register and are affected by the movements and tremors of all parts of Asia. Driven by the vision of t becoming the Asian Roundabout, where goods, ideas and people will flow in all directions -- as was the case for two millennia -- we are determined to bring peace, stability and prosperity to the region and ourselves. We offer platforms of cooperation for the five intersecting sectors of our foreign relations: our neighbors; the Islamic world; North America, Australia, Europe, and Japan; Asia; and development organizations, regional and global firms, and regional and global civil society networks."

Speaking on the importance of regional cooperation, the President said: "We have moved CASA 1000 – the first, we hope, of many projects to bring energy from Central Asia to SAARC – by breaking the deadlock over the tariff. We are determined to make TAPI a reality. To translate our latent assets – location, water and land, mineral and hydrocarbon, money and entrepreneurial energies of our people—into wellbeing for our people, we are determined to create systems of accountabilities that will result into a compact between citizens and the state and the state and our international partners."

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is an economic and geopolitical organisation of eight countries that are primarily located in South Asia. The SAARC Secretariat is based in Kathmandu, Nepal. The combined economy of SAARC is 3rd largest in the world in the terms of GDP(PPP) after the United States and China and 8th largest in the terms of nominal GDP. Afghanistan joined SAARC on 3 April 2007.


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