Intelligence chiefs from regional countries meet in Kabul over security

Head of intelligence units from regional countries held a two-day conference on regional security and the fight against terrorism in Kabul this week, Ahmad Zia Siraj, the head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) said Thursday.

Speaking at a meeting after the summit, Siraj said that the meeting, titled ‘Regional Counter-Terrorism Conference’, was attended by ministers and heads of national security and intelligence services from eight countries, including the United States, Pakistan and Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan, Siraj told media representatives at the meeting.

Siraj said the meeting was held following in line with the Afghan government’s efforts to attract the support of regional countries and the world in the fight against terrorism and their efforts to bolster support for the peace process.

Siraj said that high-ranking officials from intelligence organizations praised the NDS for their initiative to host such a meeting.

“Members of the meeting focused on common terrorist threats on three levels: national, regional and international,” Siraj said.

“Also at the meeting, a joint roadmap and mechanism was designed to address the common terrorist threats,” he added.

Siraj said that during the meeting, NDS presented information and documents on the presence and widespread activities of terrorist groups in Afghanistan, noting that the activities of the Afghan government in the fight against terrorism is a step towards peace and stability in the region.

“It was stated at the meeting that the Afghan Defense and Security Forces have a prominent role to play in the fight against regional terrorism. The main goal of these forces is to protect Afghanistan from common regional threats and to prevent the spread of these threats to countries in the region,” he added.

Siraj said that the representatives of the participating countries, while acknowledging Afghanistan’s prominent role in the fight against terrorism at a regional level, accepted the Afghan government’s concerns and acknowledged the growing number of terrorist groups in the region.

“Representatives of the participating countries stated that peace and stability in the region passes through Afghanistan and that a stable Afghanistan is equal to stability in the region,” he asserted.

According to Siraj several issues were agreed upon at the meeting.

He said from now on, common threats will be identified and actions will be taken to eliminate them, and the process of information exchange between intelligence services will be accelerated.

He added that the NDS intends to host regional security meetings in the near future to form a regional consensus against terrorism.