The Security Council is to hold a high-level meeting on Afghanistan, Council President Kairat Umarov said Tuesday. The meeting will focus on building a development-oriented regional partnership of Central Asian countries to bring peace and security to the Afghanistan, Umarov, who is the Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan, told reporters. He said that Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov is to preside over the meeting on January 19. Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani and ministers of other countries are also expected at the meeting, he said.
“Afghanistan is very important for us,” Umarov said of the Central Asian region. It needs to be approached with a new perspective of a “security and development nexus” and for any solution they have to go hand in hand, he added. He said Afghanistan was a regional problem, and like most others, was not a one-country issue as its impact was region-wide. Therefore, he said, the other countries in the region have to be involved in finding a solution.
Asked about United States President Donald Trump’s threat to cut off aid to Pakistan because of what he said were links to terrorism, Umarov declined to comment directly on it. “Pakistan is a regional neighbour to Afghanistan, Central Asia,” he said. “Only peaceful means, only diplomatic measures should prevail. The more engagement could be among the countries and not only on the political level, economic and other areas, the situation could really improve.”
In a tweet at 4 am January 1, President Trump said the United States had “foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit” — the latest in a series of angry comments by top leaders, including Vice-President Mike Pence.