Karzai's statement in Dushanbe

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Karzai's statement in Dushanbe  (2006) 
by Hamid Karzai
July 27, 2006, delivered in English

In the name of Allah, the most merciful, the most compassionate

My brother, Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!

I am delighted to visit the beautiful land of Tajikistan once again. Every time there is an opportunity to visit Tajikistan, I feel like going home to see my brothers and sisters.

My brother, Mr. President!

Tonight, I have brought the message of Sanayee Ghaznavi and the Great Mavlana of Balkh to the land of Rodaki. This message emphasizes on the fact that our two nations are inseparable. We are the inheritors of a great civilization. The part taken by our ancestors in developing philosophical knowledge, medicine, arts, poetry and science is of universal dimensions. Great men such as Abu Ali Sina Balkhi, Abu Raihan Berooni, Abu Nasr Faryabi, Behzad Herawi, Mir Amad Hirawi and thousands others are like bright stars of universal science and literature. Since we are equally the followers of these great people, we must organize together the current revival of our people in order to join the caravan of the human civilization. Only by doing so, we will be able to pay our debt toward our ancestors and towards our children.

My brother, Mr. President! Ladies and gentlemen!

In the past four and half years, the people of Afghanistan have made courageous efforts to revive their economy and to rebuild the ruins of their country. Our achievements in enforcing the rule of the law, developing education, enhancing the economy and reviving state institutions are considerable. Meanwhile, the enemies of our independence and our security, from inside and from outside the country, have not stopped killing our people. Our schools and mosques are put afire, our religious scholars, our teachers, experts who come to our country to help us and innocent civilians are killed. Forces hostile to a free, independent Afghanistan still exist. Nonetheless, the people of Afghanistan are determined to defend their independence and their territorial integrity. This war is imposed on us. We struggle for existence, to preserve our dignity, and we are determined to stand firm against the aggressors until the establishment of peace and complete stability.

My brother, Mr. President!

Our countries are located in one of the tumultuous regions of the world. Terrorism, drug trafficking, organized criminality, environmental problems, poverty and underdevelopment are the main challenges we are facing. These difficulties go far beyond our boundaries. We only can overcome our difficulties through common effort and cooperation. Afghans are ready to work together with their Tajik brothers to uproot these difficulties. We know that terrorism and drugs are threatening our brotherly Tajikistan too. We hope that we will be able to join hands in combating drug trafficking and to free our countries from this evil. Therefore, strengthening the cooperation between the security forces of both countries is necessary, more than ever. Struggle against narco-trafficking mafia should continue more rigorously.

My brother, Mr. President!

I commend, with pleasure and pride, the efforts undertaken by the people and government of Tajikistan, and especially your excellency, to develop the relations between our countries. But with so much regret, I have to say that our relations are far below our capacities and the expectation of our people. This meeting and the signing of bilateral agreements is a major step to fill this gap. Signing bilateral and trilateral agreements enables our countries to get closer to each other. Agreement related to the exchange of prisoners, cooperation protocol between medical universities and other agreements, all this is part of the efforts to bring closer our countries. Afghanistan is a bridge connecting our Tajik brothers to the people of other countries.

Water is one of the most valuable resources in the 21st century. As a matter of fact, this century is the century of water and Tajikistan has huge resources in drinking water and in water for power production and irrigation. Afghanistan is a passage enabling Tajikistan to direct her water and energy to the countries in the South and in the West. Our countries must be connected as soon as possible by railway and roads. Completion of the bridge building projects is a good step in connecting our countries. Afghanistan wishes to be linked to China by building necessary routes through Tajikistan. The realization of this project will constitute a significant step towards the exchange of goods and services between Asian countries and further developing cooperation in the region.

We should enhance our cultural and educational exchanges and scientific cooperation to keep alive our common culture.

Strengthening economic, political, security and cultural cooperation between our countries requires, more than ever, that we reduce, as much as possible, the bureaucracy and administrative obstacles in our relationship. Our experts will have to take immediate practical measures to remove these barriers. We must open the doors for our people to move from one country to another.

My brother, Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen!

Allow me to once again thank the people and government of Tajikistan for the unwavering support to the resistance of people of Afghanistan against the Taliban and their foreign supporters. The people of Tajikistan have stood by the Afghans in the most difficult times and have given Afghan refugees warm hospitality. The people of Tajikistan have been our closest friends since the establishment of Afghan Interim Government in 2001.

We know the meaning and value of this true friendship and we are proud of it. Afghanistan learns many lessons from Tajikistan’s experience of peace and national reconciliation initiative under the leadership of your Excellency, Mr. President.

My brother, Mr. President!

I consider your Excellency as a very close personal friend. You are my brother and a close friend to the people of Afghanistan. This true friendship increases manifold our responsibility to protect and enhance the ties between the two members of the same civilization. I invite you visit Afghanistan, your own home. I hope before the grape season ends, you will come to Afghanistan and see what secret lies in the grape grains of Herat that made the Samani king stay there and provided an occasion for the great poet and musician in our region, Rodaki, to compose one of the most beautiful odes of Dari-Farsi poetry.

Hoping progress and prosperity for the Tajik nation and good health for your Excellency!

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