At a quadruple summit in Kabul, leaders from four regional countries on Thursday reaffirmed their commitment to constructive relations based on principles of non-interference, mutual respect and shared interests.
The commitment was held out by President Hamid Karzai, his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, Pakistan leader Mamnoon Hussain and Emomali Rahmonov of Tajikistan.
Coming together in Kabul for the Nawroz festival, they expressed their support for collective and comprehensive deliberations on current and emerging regional and global issues, according to a joint statement.
They discussed ways in which the four countries could collaborate and contribute to regional peace and stability, as well as sustained economic prosperity for their peoples.
Expressing concern over the growing threat posed by terrorism and extremism in the region, the leaders reiterated the need for concerted efforts through enhanced security cooperation and combating their financing and support.
They agreed that peace in Afghanistan was essential for peace and stability of the region, saying the international community as well as the region had a shared responsibility and common interest to work together for regional peace and stability.
The regional leader
recognised that the forthcoming presidential elections represented a significant milestone in Afghanistan’s political transition.
They underlined the importance of holding inclusive and transparent elections as a crucial step toward consolidating democracy and promoting peace, stability and sustainable development in Afghanistan.
The three visiting presidents also commended Kabul’s continuing efforts to promote an Afghan owned and Afghan led national reconciliation process within the country’s constitutional framework.
They praised the Kabul administration for securing the national interests of Afghan people and underscored the importance of supporting and facilitating direct dialogue and reconciliation.
At the summit, advancing constructive regional cooperation was viewed as an effective means to promote peace, stability and economic and social development.
The four presidents highlighted the importance of infrastructure projects such as roads and railways for strengthening regional connectivity.
They particularly stressed the importance of the 17 regional investment and policy priority projects proposed at the fifth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan in Dushanbe in March 2012, calling for enhanced engagement among regional countries to that end.
The leaders also reiterated support for ongoing Afghan-led regional efforts within the framework of the Heart of Asia countries cooperation/process and welcomed the hosting of its ministerial meeting by China later this year.
On rehabilitation of Afghan refugees, they underscored the need for creating conducive conditions in Afghanistan for the timely, honourable, dignified and sustainable returns.
Rouhani, Hussain and Rahmonov expressed their appreciation for the warm welcome and hospitality they were accorded in Kabul