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Enhance focus on battling terror: Ghani to HoA states

Enhance focus on battling terror: Ghani to HoA states

By
On
Jun 01, 2017 - 14:19

KABUL (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani has stressed the need for increased bilateral cooperation with Azerbaijan, asking Heart of Asia (HoA) countries to enhance their focus on combating terrorism and its supporters.

Araz Azimov, Azarbaijan’s deputy minister of foreign affairs, on Wednesday called on Ghani at the Presidential Palace. Azimov said his country was set to host the ‘Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process’ late in the year.

Azerbaijan’s president had officially invited Ghani to attend the conference, the ambassador was quoted as saying in a statement from the Presidential Palace.

During the meeting, both sides discussed various topics, particularly the expansion of ties between Afghanistan and Azerbaijan in various fields.

Azimov said Afghanistan and Azerbaijan had a common culture. He called achievements by the unity government appreciable. He assured his country would continue to support Afghanistan.

Ye added his country was ready to support Afghanistan in the spheres of education, equipping security forces, medical, construction and gas pipelines. He demanded the expansion of commercial links between the two countries.

Ghani thanked the Azerbaijan president for the formal invitation to the HoA meet, urging the forum to enhance its focus on combating terrorism and its abettors.

Afghanistan had established good economical and commercial relations with regional countries, especially the Central Asian republics, and it wanted to improve cooperation with Azerbaijan, he noted.

Ghani hoped the two countries through strengthening trade ties would reduce prices of different products. He Afghanistan had good trade links with China, Iran and Turkey. He called Afghanistan an Asian intersection, connecting Central Asia with South Asia.

He hoped representatives of Azerbaijan’s private sector would visit Afghanistan to explore investment opportunities \in cooperation with Afghan counterparts. Ghani asked Azerbaijan to help equip the Afghan National Police Hospital.

The Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process was established to provide a platform to discuss regional issues, particularly encouraging security, political, and economic cooperation between Afghanistan and its neighbors.

This region-led dialogue was launched in November 2011 to expand coordination between Afghanistan and its neighbors and regional partners in tackling common threats, including counterterrorism, counternarcotics, poverty, and extremism.

Its first conference was co-chaired by Afghanistan and Turkey in Istanbul. Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates are members of the process.

sns/mud