President Ashraf Ghani in a virtual meeting with Deborah Lyons, the newly-appointed UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan discussed a range of issues pertaining to joint efforts to contain covid-19, the Afghan peace process, regional connectivity and upcoming Geneva Conference on Afghanistan yesterday afternoon.
The UN Secretary General’s Special Representative expressed happiness over assuming another significant responsibility in Afghanistan and said she would work to focus on Afghan government’s priorities, political issues, peace process as well as efforts to tackle with coronavirus.
Ms. Deborah Lyons said a new chapter of cooperation between the government of Afghanistan and the United Nations would enable the organization and the UN Security Council to work jointly and cohesively with the government to address the critical challenges faced by the country.
She also expressed commitment to closely work with the government and president of Afghanistan to make necessary preparations to ensure renewal of the international community commitments to Afghanistan in the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan that will be possibly held in upcoming November.
President Ghani extended gratitude to Ms. Deborah Lyons and said a new chapter of cooperation with the United Nations and joint efforts will contribute to mitigating and minimizing the negative effects of corona outbreak on the Afghan society and economy.
The president called for further effectiveness, accountability and transparency of the UN agencies in Afghanistan and stressed that information on their performance and projects need to be shared with the Afghan government.
The president said, “The government is keen to jointly work with the international community and it is important for us to work cohesively to deal with negative impacts of the corona spread.”
“We will share our progresses in the peace process and fighting covid-19 with the international community in the upcoming Geneva Conference,” added the president while underscoring that Afghanistan should attend the conference with full preparation.
The president termed peace the government’s paramount priority and said the government has taken any necessary step to bring a sustainable peace to the country. He expressed his full commitment to settling political issues through negotiations, by taking the interests of the Afghan people into account.
“Unfortunately, the Taliban have neither renounced violence, nor they have embraced the calls of the people, the government and appeal of the international community for a cease-fire during the month of Ramadan.” The president said while expressing hope that Taliban agree to a ceasefire.
President Ghani emphasized on a regional cooperation agenda that can lead to economic development, connectivity and regional cooperation and said the agenda would not only be advantageous for Afghanistan, but for the economic development, stability and progress in the region.