The historic Storay Palace was reopened in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today before noon with the presence of the Afghan President, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, participation of the Indian Prime Minister, H.E. Narendra Modi through video conference, and presence of the Afghan Foreign Minister, Salahuddin Rabbani, Deputy Foreign Ministers, Parliament members, resident Ambassadors and delegations from friend countries, Foreign Ministry Directors, and a number of national figures.
Afghan Foreign Minister, Salahuddin Rabbani welcomed the Afghan President and everyone present in the ceremony, and thanked the government and the people of the Republic of India for financing the renovation of this palace. The Afghan Foreign Minister counted the Storay Palace as one of the historic treasures of Afghanistan and stated that the repairs of this palace, continued with the construction of the new parliament building, and Afghan-India Friendship dam is another example the sincere cooperation of India with Afghanistan. Later on, the Afghan President delivered speech with thanking the government and the people of India, counting India as friend during the good and bad days of the Afghan people and stated: “The time changes proved that whenever nations establish their relations based on friendship, trust, and mutual cooperation, they shall witness fruitful outcomes in their friendly relations. The friendship tree of the two historic countries is rooted in the depths of the history and its branches and leaves are spread along the time.” The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who delivered speech through video conference, congratulated the government and the people of Afghanistan for the inauguration of Storay Palace and stated: “I assure the people of Afghanistan that 1,250,000,000 Indians will stand beside you during your efforts for the construction of a successful Afghanistan and establishing security and stability in your society.” The ceremony ended with the reopening of the historic Palace by the Afghan President and the Indian Prime Minister. The Storay Palace is one of the historic palaces of the country which’s foundation stone was laid before the Amir Habibullah Khan’s period, and is the first Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country. The palace was damaged due to natural changes and time-lapse, and its renovation initiated three years back with the USD 5.7 million financial assistance of India. The restoration and repairs of this palace has been done by the Aga Khan cultural foundation. The Aga Khan Development Network Diplomatic Delegation in Afghanistan, Mrs. Noor Jahan Mawani, on the renovation of the Storay Palace, stated: “We are pleased to have partnered with the Afghan and Indian Governments on the restoration of Storay Palace. It is the latest project to have been completed as part of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture’s continuing commitment to Afghanistan’s heritage.”