KABUL (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani on Monday said Afghanistan’s dream was to become a roundabout of Asia, saying his country did not want charity but connectivity.
Addressing a side event of the Geneva summit, the president Afghanistan was one of places of intersection, as historical trade roads ranging from the grand trunk road to the lapis lazuli and silk met here.
“Names given to us capture the significance of our location best: the heart of Asia; gates of India; land bridge; roundabout, a place where goods, ideas, and people freely move, circulate and interact; Switzerland of Asia.”
Ghani said a strong regional consensus was essential to creating sustainable peace in the country.
He said a sustainable peace could be achieved by developing a common understanding of the current context, having reached an agreed-upon end state for a political settlement in Afghanistan, endorse Afghanistan’s posture of multi-alignment, cooperate with us to develop a regional framework to guarantee peace and political stability and engage with a medium-to-long-term strategy of cooperation based on mutual interest.
He suggested five initiatives to help improve regional connectivity and enhance trade between regional partners and Afghanistan including support for speeding up regional projects, secure agreement either by the adoption of global standards or creation of regional standards on trade, transit, and transport, examine the gaps in critical infrastructure in Afghanistan, help Afghanistan become a hub of green energy and industry; and cooperate with Afghanistan on its agenda of digital transformation.
Ghani said the foundation for improving regional cooperation and connectivity is now firmly in place.
Ghani said some of the measures that will enable Afghanistan to accelerate and expand its common efforts are taking advantage of the consensus among regional leaders on the centrality of regional cooperation and connectivity and adopting regional asset management.
the president ]said ]a sovereign, united, democratic Afghanistan will be an asset to the region and the world. “The violence that Afghans suffer is beyond endurance,” Ghani said.