Afghanistan’s Issue Has No Military Solution: Tajik President

Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon on the second and the last day of the ninth Hearth of Asia – Istanbul Process conference in Dushanbe on Tuesday said the last four decades of conflicts in Afghanistan have shown that there is no military solution to the issue of Afghanistan except for diplomatic and political efforts.

Rahmon said his country is in favor of peace and stability in Afghanistan.

The end of all wars is reconciliation, he said. “We also forgave 6,000 armed men in our country and recruited them into the government,” recalling the reconciliation process in Tajikistan.

Rahmon noted that Afghans helped the peace process in Tajikistan and “we will never forget this.”

He called on the international community to help Afghanistan in peace and stability.

“Cooperation with Afghanistan is a top priority in Tajikistan’s foreign policy,” Rahmon reiterated. “There is more room for cooperation in the energy sector between Afghanistan and Tajikistan.”

He said that his country is ready to boost trade relations with Afghanistan and proposed for formation of a joint railway line between Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Iran.

Referring to cooperation between Afghanistan and Tajikistan, he said that the volume of bilateral trade in 2020 was $70 million and this volume is expected to double.

Meanwhile, President Ghani, who addressed the conference, said Afghanistan-Tajikistan relations are based on mutual respect and trust.

He noted that the peace in Afghanistan will bring peace and stability in the region and the world, adding that the ongoing violence in the country is against the will of the people.

On Monday, President Ghani met with his Tajik counterpart at the sideline of the conference, and both discussed the strengthening of Afghanistan-Tajikistan ties in various sectors, Afghanistan’s Presidential Palace said.

“Cooperation and relations between the two countries–that have a common language, culture and civilization–are based on the principle of brotherhood and on our being neighbors,” Rahmon said in the meeting as quoted in a statement by the Presidential Palace.

Ghani said in the meeting that there isn’t any difference in interests between Afghanistan and Tajikistan and “we want the border of the two countries to change into a border of cooperation, coordination and harmony.”

Afghan and Tajik officials signed five documents pledging cooperation following Ghani’s meeting with Tajikistan’s leader.

President Ghani also met with Tajikistan Prime Minister Kokhir Rasulzoda and discussed the strengthening of Kabul-Dushanbe ties in various sectors, the statement added.

Representatives from at least 50 countries and international organizations have been participated at the conference, according to officials.

The Heart of Asia conference was launched in 2011 as an initiative by Kabul and Ankara to help Afghanistan achieve peace. 15 countries are members of the conference and host it once every year.

The conference was not held in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.