BISHKEK (TCA) — The OSCE Programme Office in Bishkek and United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) co-organized a seminar on Central Asia-Afghanistan policy partnership on July 12. The purpose of the event was an exchange of views on establishing policy partnerships at the expert-analytical level and deepening ties among researchers in the region.
The discussion took place at the initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, and gathered 40 participants representing the OSCE, the UN, international development and government institutions and think-tanks from Central Asian countries and Afghanistan.
In his opening remarks, the Head of the Programme Office in Bishkek, Ambassador Pierre von Arx, noted: “The OSCE and UNAMA are making sure this initiative is anchored locally in the region and provides a neutral and open platform for discussions.”
Highlighting the importance of this gathering, the Director for Political Affairs at UNAMA, Scott Smith, said: “Afghans are increasingly interested in and capable of conducting analytical research on their country. We see a real necessity to build on the potential in the region in this field.”
The participants discussed the recent trend towards increased cooperation between the region’s countries and Afghanistan. They also explored common approaches towards security and research on development issues.
The Head of the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the OSCE in Vienna, Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel, said: “None of our countries can achieve prosperity on its own. Afghanistan fully acknowledges the importance of cooperation with its neighbours and is ready to nurture it further.”
Kyrgyz Deputy Foreign Minister Nurlan Abdrakhmanov said: “Kyrgyzstan has been providing assistance to Afghanistan for a long time and we have been offering to establish a permanent expert platform focusing on peaceful resolution of the conflict.”