Asserting that Afghanistan can’t recover without its neighbours, the United States of America today commended Kazakhstan and India for playing instrumental roles in the strengthening the stability of Afghanistan.
In his remarks on “The Istanbul Process Ministerial: Results and Prospects for the Future,” Assistant Secretary Robert O. Blake, Jr. for Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs says Kazakhstan has been a wonderful supporter of international efforts in Afghanistan.
“Kazakhstan was the host along with Pakistan of the disaster management confidence building measure.” – Mr. Blake
In addition, Kazakhstan has been very active in promoting business to business cooperation between Kazakhstan and Afghanistan.
It is one of the few countries in the that has contributed to the sustainment of the Afghan National Security Forces as well.
Kazakhstan helps Afghanistan on its road to recovery
According to Mr. Blake, Kazakhstan has also been funding infrastructure projects in Afghanistan and most importantly it has extended its $50 million program to educate Afghan students here in Kazakhstan.
“So a bravo to Kazakhstan for all of its terrific work.” – Mr. Blake
Likewise India has played a really instrumental role.
India chaired the very important working group and confidence building measure on commercial and business to business relations and very active for a very long time in this area, Mr. Blake said.
He reports that India already accounts for roughly one-quarter of Afghanistan’s exports and India-Afghanistan trade is probably going to double to about $1 billion by 2013, despite the fact that there’s not yet direct transit trade between India and Afghanistan.
Mr. Blake thinks that is quite an important milestone that’s been achieved already, and much more to come.
In addition, India has also chaired several investment conferences before the Tokyo conference, and the India-led SAIL consortium is now leading this very important effort to begin to extract high quality iron ore in the Hajigak mine in central Afghanistan.
Aside from helping Afghanistan develop the minerals of Afghanistan, India also helps develop the infrastructure that will be needed to get those minerals to market.
US says recovery of Afghanistan is a regional effort
At the Istanbul Process Ministerial in Kazakhstan’s capital of Almaty, Mr Blake emphasized that recovery of Afghanistan is a regional effort and without the region itself beginning to cooperate or coordinate better there won’t be the kind of growth in the region as a whole.
“So Afghanistan can’t recover without the region; the region can’t recover without Afghanistan; and the region can’t thrive unless it finds a way to work together through these kinds of measures.” – Mr. Blake
He explains that the interconnectedness of all these various confidence building measures, that Afghanistan can’t stand alone, that it’s an integrated approach to enhanced regional cooperation.
The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan railroad project for one , which is a signature project, is going to lead to new electric lines across Afghanistan and new gas lines across Afghanistan and that’s really critical.
“There’s a realization that there has to be coordination and simultaneous movement forward which I thought was really critical.” – Mr. Blake
U.S. Support for the Istanbul Process
The United States of America supported the “Heart of Asia” foreign ministerial in Almaty, Kazakhstan that continues a high-level dialogue focused on encouraging security, political, and economic cooperation among Afghanistan and its neighbors.
The region-led dialogue was launched in November 2011 to expand practical coordination between Afghanistan and its neighbors and regional partners in facing common threats, including counterterrorism, counternarcotics, poverty, and extremism.
The United States and over 20 other nations and organizations serve as “supporting nations” to the process.
Heart of Asia nations ready to help Afghanistan
One of the notable achievements of Afghanistan is that it participating as a sovereign partner in discussions about the future of its region, and the region is uniting in support of Afghanistan.
The US believes that regional engagement, coordination, and integration are essential prerequisites for sustainable stability across South and Central Asia.
Afghanistan’s neighbors and partners have an important role to play in supporting a successful security transition.
In its security transition, the international coalition has laid out a clear plan of support.
The members of the coalition have reaffirmed in the Chicago Summit Declaration on Afghanistan just over a year ago, we stand ready to continue to train, advise, and assist Afghan forces beyond the end of the ISAF mission in 2014.
In addition, the Heart of Asian countries can also help to train, finance, and equip the Afghan army and police.
They can do this by expanding coordination with Afghanistan to stem the movement of dangerous material, people, and finances across borders.
Afghanistan and its neighbors
Afghanistan and its neighbours share many common threats that will require solutions developed and carried out by Afghanistan and its neighbors, and supported by the international community.
US asserts that there is no escaping the simple fact that Afghanistan’s fortunes are tied to its neighborhood, just as the neighborhood’s fortunes are tied to Afghanistan.
The US is looking forward to continuing to work with all of you to ensure that Afghanistan and the Heart of Asia realize their shared aspiration for a stable, secure, and prosperous future.
Saying that Afghanistan is currently managing three very significant transitions in terms of security, political, and economic, the United States of America said it will continue to support the Afghan people in taking control of its future.
The United States is committed to an enduring partnership with the Afghan people as they seek a secure and democratic nation.
The United States supports a strong and a united Afghanistan that secures its rightful place in the community of nations over the course of these next years.
US Helps Afghanistan manage its three transitions: security, political, economic
Afghanistan is managing three very significant transitions: a security transition, a political transition, and an economic transition.
The US also supports the Afghan-led peace process, recognizing that the reconciliation is the best way to try to provide the surest end to violence and to secure a unified and a sovereign Afghanistan.
The US government continues to join with President Karzai in calling on the Taliban to join a political process, to renounce the violence and join in a political process.
Afghanistan moving closer to self-governing, to self-determination, self-reliance
US reports that while fewer women are dying in childbirth, more of them have been elected to parliament, and more of their children, especially their daughters, are going to school.
Many more Afghans are connected through the air and on the ground, with access to technologies like cell phones rising.
And more roads have been built in the past 10 years than in the entire previous history of Afghanista.
US emphasizes that there’s a lot of work yet to do, but with each of these steps, Afghanistan is moving closer to self-governing, to self-determination, self-reliance.
Afghanistan Expected to Take Full Responsibility for Its Security By 2014
With the recent announcement that 34,000 US troops will withdraw in Afghanistan, the United States of America today announced US goal is for Afghans to take full responsibility for their security by 2014
For the past decade, tens of billions of dollars in security-related spending have fueled consumption and economic growth in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia.
Since last November 2012, seven provinces and municipalities have already begun transition.
US pledges for long-term military commitment
US is negotiating a Strategic Partnership agreement that signals our long-term civil-military commitment.
US knows the cost of neglecting Afghanistan as well. The US will continue to support the sovereign rights of the people of Afghanistan.
US and Afghanistan Partnership
Both nations have worked together to set forth a long-term political, diplomatic, and security partnership, and it entered into force just a few days ago.
The US government sees this alliance as a powerful symbol of its commitment to Afghanistan’s future.
The United States also wants to continue to invest in doing what the Afghans believe they need.
The United States will continue to protect Afghanistan from any efforts by insurgents and outsiders to destabilize Afghanistan.
The US government has supported President Karzai in his effort to have an Afghan-owned, Afghan-led reconciliation process.
In December 2011, the United States withdrew 10,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
July 2011 marked the beginning of a responsible transition that will see Afghan forces gradually taking the lead in securing their own country.
By 2014, the process of transition will be complete, and the Afghan people will be responsible for their own security.
The Afghan security forces move into the lead, the United States continues to reduce its military footprint. Its mission will change from combat to support. The remaining 23,000 “surge” troops in December 2009 will leave Afghanistan by the end of summer 2012.
The U.S. government has made significant progress towards their goals as well .
Reports say the U.S. government is redoubling its efforts to pursue a peaceful end to the conflict in the region.
The U.S. government has taken tangible steps to advance Afghan reconciliation and reintegration initiatives, including support to the Afghan High Peace Council and provincial police and reintegration councils.